Yi-Hsuan Chen: Master's Thesis Defense

Master's Thesis Defense

Wednesday, April 6, 2022 at 5:30 pm 
Building 3, Level 5, Room 5220; Join Zoom Meeting: https://kaust.zoom.us/j/91694715622; Meeting ID: 916 9471 5622

"Control design and analysis for reduced-gravity atmospheric flights."

Committee Members
Prof. Eric Feron, Prof. David Keyes, and Prof. Shinkyu Park

This work presents a longitudinal flight control algorithm to guide an aircraft to follow a parabolic trajectory by minimizing the position deviation between the aircraft and a reference object (proof mass). As an aircraft flies along the parabolic trajectory, it will be in a free-fall stage, thus causing the sensation of weightlessness. Moreover, a triple-integral thrust controller is proposed to reject the unknown, quadratically increasing aerodynamic drag. Also, the proof mass is placed in the cockpit to avoid non-minimum phase longitudinal dynamics; thus, a PID controller is sufficient for removing the vertical position error. 


Yi-Hsuan Chen is a Master's student in Robotics, Intelligent Systems, and Control (RISC) Lab led by Prof. Eric Feron. She joined the mechanical engineering program at KAUST in August 2020. She received her bachelor's degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), Taiwan. Her research has been focused on unmanned aerial vehicles and flight control systems. She is currently working on developing a longitudinal controller for parabolic maneuvers to simulate zero-gravity environments on Earth.