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A flow disturbance estimation and rejection strategy for multirotors with round-trip trajectories

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This paper presents a round-trip strategy of multirotors subject to unknown flow disturbances. During the outbound flight, the vehicle immediately utilizes the wind disturbance estimations in feedback control, as an attempt to reduce the tracking error. During this phase, the disturbance estimations with respect to the position are also recorded for future use. For the return flight, the disturbances previously collected are then routed through a feedforward controller. The major assumption here is that the disturbances may vary over space, but not over time during the same mission. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this feedforward strategy via experiments with two different types of wind flows; a simple jet flow and a more complex flow. To use as a baseline case, a cascaded PD controller with an additional feedback loop for disturbance estimation was employed for outbound flights. To display our contributions regarding the additional feedforward approach, an additional feedforward correction term obtained via prerecorded data was integrated for the return flight. Compared to the baseline controller, the feedforward controller was observed to produce 43% less RMSE position error at a vehicle ground velocity of 1m/s with 6 m/s of environmental wind velocity. This feedforward approach also produced 14% less RMSE position error for the complex flows as well.

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