Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Darcy Allison (Committee Member), Rory Roberts (Advisor), William Schley (Committee Member), Mitch Wolff (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


A set of guidance control laws has been developed for enabling three distinct modes of operation of a reduced order dynamic aircraft model. These include 1) a waypoint following control law, 2) a trajectory tracking control law, and 3) a set of kinematically constrained control laws for reaching a commanded altitude, speed or heading. The formulation of the reduced order model is presented so that the capabilities and limitations of the model are understood, and so that the interface architecture between the controllers and the plant is clearly defined. The controller formulations are then presented, together with sample results. The thesis closes with conclusions about each of the controllers, possible improvements and additional capabilities that might be worth pursuing, and a discussion of the higher level path-planning controller that could now be developed.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Year Degree Awarded