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FPGA Based Longitudinal and Lateral Controller Implementation for a Small UAV

Authors: Hafiz ul Azad, Dragan V.Lazic, Waqar Shahid


This paper presents implementation of attitude controller for a small UAV using field programmable gate array (FPGA). Due to the small size constrain a miniature more compact and computationally extensive; autopilot platform is needed for such systems. More over UAV autopilot has to deal with extremely adverse situations in the shortest possible time, while accomplishing its mission. FPGAs in the recent past have rendered themselves as fast, parallel, real time, processing devices in a compact size. This work utilizes this fact and implements different attitude controllers for a small UAV in FPGA, using its parallel processing capabilities. Attitude controller is designed in MATLAB/Simulink environment. The discrete version of this controller is implemented using pipelining followed by retiming, to reduce the critical path and thereby clock period of the controller datapath. Pipelined, retimed, parallel PID controller implementation is done using rapidprototyping and testing efficient development tool of “system generator", which has been developed by Xilinx for FPGA implementation. The improved timing performance enables the controller to react abruptly to any changes made to the attitudes of UAV.

Keywords: Field Programmable gate array (FPGA), Hardwaredescriptive Language (HDL), PID, Pipelining, Retiming, XilinxSystem Generator.

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