Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 November 2017
In this paper, an efficient approach to design and optimize a flight controller of a small-scale unmanned helicopter is proposed. Given the identified helicopter model, the Linear Quadratic Gaussian/Loop Transfer Recovery (LQG/LTR) robust control method is applied for trajectory tracking and attitude control of the helicopter with a two-loop hierarchical control architecture. Since the performance of the controller extremely depends on its weighting matrices, the Artificial Bee Colony (ABC) algorithm is introduced to automatically select the parameters of the matrices. Comparative studies between optimal algorithms are also carried out. A series of flight experiments and simulations are conducted to investigate the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed optimised controller.