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Function Design via Rapid Control Prototyping

Engineers often struggle to achieve a fast and easy evaluation of changes made in specific control functions when transitioning from a laboratory to a real system. This example shows an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that also includes an electronic control function for maintaining a safe flight envelope during operation. Engineers introduce changes to this control function by following a model-based design approach, based on validated aircraft, system, and environment models. The code generated from the controller model responsible for maintaining a safe flight envelope is then transferred directly to a dSPACE MicroAutoBox installed in the UAS to perform real flight tests. Multiple sensors are connected via a common data bus, such as CAN, required for transmitting variables, for example, speed, attitude, position, angle of attack, and sideslip angle. The control algorithms running on the MicroAutoBox transmit commands to the flight control system as PWM signals.