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Volume 7 Issue 2
Mar.  2020

IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica

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Yangyang Chen, Rui Yu, Ya Zhang and Chenglin Liu, "Circular Formation Flight Control for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles With Directed Network and External Disturbance," IEEE/CAA J. Autom. Sinica, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 505-516, Mar. 2020. doi: 10.1109/JAS.2019.1911669
Citation: Yangyang Chen, Rui Yu, Ya Zhang and Chenglin Liu, "Circular Formation Flight Control for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles With Directed Network and External Disturbance," IEEE/CAA J. Autom. Sinica, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 505-516, Mar. 2020. doi: 10.1109/JAS.2019.1911669

Circular Formation Flight Control for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles With Directed Network and External Disturbance

doi: 10.1109/JAS.2019.1911669
Funds:  This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61673106), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20171362), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2242019K40024)
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  • This paper proposes a new distributed formation flight protocol for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to perform coordinated circular tracking around a set of circles on a target sphere. Different from the previous results limited in bidirectional networks and disturbance-free motions, this paper handles the circular formation flight control problem with both directed network and spatiotemporal disturbance with the knowledge of its upper bound. Distinguishing from the design of a common Lyapunov function for bidirectional cases, we separately design the control for the circular tracking subsystem and the formation keeping subsystem with the circular tracking error as input. Then the whole control system is regarded as a cascade connection of these two subsystems, which is proved to be stable by input-to-state stability (ISS) theory. For the purpose of encountering the external disturbance, the backstepping technology is introduced to design the control inputs of each UAV pointing to North and Down along the special sphere (say, the circular tracking control algorithm) with the help of the switching function. Meanwhile, the distributed linear consensus protocol integrated with anther switching anti-interference item is developed to construct the control input of each UAV pointing to east along the special sphere (say, the formation keeping control law) for formation keeping. The validity of the proposed control law is proved both in the rigorous theory and through numerical simulations.


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    • This paper is to develop the circular formation flight control for bidirectional connected UAVs in a directed network with external disturbances.
    • A new robust circular formation flight algorithm to confront the spatiotemporal disturbance with knowledge of its upper bound.
    • A fully distributed circular formation flight control is given without any global information of network.


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