H∞-design and the improvement of helicopter handling qualities
This thesis presents the results of a study into the use of Hꝏ-optimization for the design of feedback control laws for improving the handling qualities of a Lynx helicopter. An important improvement to the Hꝏ-optimization procedure is the reduction in the number of iterative steps in the γ-iteration before convergence to the optimal γ. Some new algorithms are derived which significantly reduce the computation time for the γ-iteration. Both 2-block and 4-block cases are considered. Control laws are designed for precise control of pitch and roll attitude, yaw rate and heave velocity. Analysis of the raw helicopter showed the need for a stability augmentation system as the dynamic characteristics of the unaugmented helicopter do not comply with military helicopter handling qualities requirements. Results from current research on helicopter handling qualities were used as guidelines in order to define the required dynamic characteristics. A six-degree of freedom nonlinear simulation was used to analyse the helicopter dynamic time histories. A possible solution to the problem of incorporating helicopter handling qualities in the design of robust controllers is to use a two-degree of freedom controller structure. This is illustrated using both H2 and Hꝏ-optimization. A piloted simulation study to assess the effectiveness of advanced control laws was initiated at RAE, Bedford. The trials were carried out in the single seat cockpit flight simulator, at the Flight Research Division and represent the first ever real-time piloted simulation using a Hꝏ-controller.