Autopilot Design for a Target Drone using Rate Gyros and GPS

  • Received : 2012.08.17
  • Accepted : 2012.12.07
  • Published : 2012.12.30


Cost is an important aspect in designing a target drone, however the poor performance of low cost IMU, GPS, and microcontrollers prevents the use of complex algorithms, such as ARS, or INS/GPS to estimate attitude angles. We propose an autopilot which uses rate gyro and GPS only for a target drone to follow a prescribed path for anti-aircraft training. The autopilot consists of an altitude hold, roll hold, and path following controller. The altitude hold controller uses vertical speed output from a GPS to improve phugoid damping. The roll hold controller feeds back yaw rate after filtering the dutch roll oscillation to estimate the roll angle. The path following controller operates as an outer loop of the altitude and roll hold controllers. A 6-DOF simulation showed that the proposed autopilot guides the target drone to follow a prescribed path well from the view point of anti-aircraft gun training.


Low cost IMU & GPS;Target drone;Autopilot;Dutch roll filter


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  1. The Implementation and Lateral Control Optimization of a UAV Based on Phase Lead Compensator and Signal Constraint Controller vol.10, pp.10, 2018,


Supported by : Agency for Defense Development