Aerodynamic parameter estimation from flight data applying extended and unscented Kalman filter

Girish Chowdhary, Ravindra Jategaonkar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Aerodynamic parameter estimation is an integral part of aerospace system design and life cycle process. Recent advances in computational power have allowed the use of online parameter estimation techniques in varied applications such as reconfigurable or adaptive control, system health monitoring, and fault tolerant control. The combined problem of state and parameter identification leads to a nonlinear filtering problem; furthermore, many aerospace systems are characterized by nonlinear models as well as noisy and biased sensor measurements. Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) is a commonly used algorithm for recursive parameter identification due to its excellent filtering properties and is based on a first order approximation of the system dynamics. Recently, the Umscented Kalman Filter (UKF) has been proposed as a theoretically better alternative to the EKF in the field of nonlinear filtering and has received great attention in navigation, parameter estimation, and dual estimation problems. However, the use of UKF as a recursive parameter estimation tool for aerodynamic modeling is relatively unexplored. In this paper we compare the performance of three recursive parameter estimation algorithms for aerodynamic parameter estimation of two aircraft from real flight data. We consider the EKF, the simplified version of the UKF and the augmented version of the UKF. The aircraft under consideration are a fixed wing aircraft (EFB-320) and a rotary wing UAV (ARTIS). The results indicate that although the UKF shows a slight improvement in some cases, the performance of the three algorithms remains comparable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - 2006 Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference
PublisherAIAA International
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)156347820X, 9781563478208
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event2006 Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference - Keystone, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 21 2006Aug 24 2006

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - 2006 Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference


Other2006 Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityKeystone, CO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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