Naïma Ait Oufroukh received the M.S. degree in robotics and the Ph.D. degree in robotics and data processing from University of Évry, Évry, France, in 1999 and 2002, respectively.
Without a pilot onboard, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or drone must be controlled from the ground by a radio-control ground pilot or it must have its own intelligence to fly autonomously. Autonomy is defined as the ability of a system to sense, communicate, plan, make decisions and act without human intervention. Navigation is concerned with determining where the UAV is relative to where it should be, guidance with getting the UAV to destination and control with staying on track. Remote human crew interaction is enabled by wireless communication and autonomous vehicle functionality. The basic design has a micro-controller that acts as a flight control, usually with actuators, a radio receiver, electronic speed control, and a battery. In addition, gyroscopes and other sensors are added to increase the mid-air stability of the UAV and a GPS device can be used for navigation. Most UAVs also carry at least one camera for aerial imagery, and a gimbal for added image stability. Additionally, other sensors can be attached, though there is a trade off with increased functionality and weight. These complimentary sensors can provide aircraft location along with imagery information. The UAV can be used to collect relevant sensor information and transmit the information to the ground control station for further processing.
This tutorial will develop along the two important topics: Communication and Control. In the first part of this tutorial, Communication between the different systems, their protocol , as well as with the embedded camera, inter-UAV, ground vehicle-aerial vehicle will be presented. The principal issues for communication technologies are flexibility, adaptability, security and controllability of the bandwidth, frequency and information/data flow. In the second part: stabilization, tracking, vision-based control will be tackled. A common control strategy for an UAV is a two loops structure where the attitude dynamics are controlled by an inner loop and the position dynamics are controlled by an outer loop. In the control system, algorithms depend on the type of the aircraft, its dynamical model, the inputs and sensors choice and the type of control design. UAVs can encounter a wide range of flight conditions in an atmospheric flight and in some cases, disturbances can be stronger than the UAV own control forces. Topics related to linear and nonlinear control methods will be presented. Experiments, done in the university of Evry, will show the effectiveness of the approaches.