L1 backstepping for robust trajectory tracking ?

Srinath Mallikarjunan, Zongyu Zuo, Bill Nesbitt, Naira Hovakimyan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This paper addresses the problem of making UAVs follow a prescribed trajectory in the presence of modeling uncertainties and external disturbances. The kinematics and dynamics of the trajectory tracking problem are in strict feedback form, appropriate for backstepping deisgn. While there is no uncertainty in the kinematics, rapidly changing uncertainties in the dynamics make this problem an ideal candidate for L1 backstepping control. The trajectory tracking controller serves as the outer-loop in a cascaded design architecture and supplies a reference quaternion and thrust to the inner-loop controller. The inner-loop controller in turn generates a moment demand for the control allocation module. Such an inner-outer loop architecture is modular and does away with the requirement that the commanded trajectory be four times differentiable as would be required if a single monolithic backstepping control law were to be used. Simulations are used to demonstrate the performance of this controller in comparison to a conventional backstepping controller.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalIFAC Proceedings Volumes (IFAC-PapersOnline)
Issue numberPART 1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Event2nd IFAC Workshop on Research, Education and Development of Unmanned Aerial Systems, RED-UAS 2013 - Compiegne, France
Duration: Nov 20 2013Nov 22 2013


  • Backstepping
  • Guaranteed transient performance
  • Multi-rotor
  • Robust adaptation
  • Trajectory tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'L1 backstepping for robust trajectory tracking ?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this