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Nate O

- Research Program Mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate


Aerospace Robotics, Autonomous Systems, Control Systems, Guidance, Navigation & Control (GNC)

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Aerospace Attitude Control

To maintain stable flight, aerospace vehicles are equipped with an attitude control system that corrects disturbances interacting with the vehicle’s dynamics. Stability is achieved by applying the forces that are necessary to return to a nominal trajectory through the vehicle’s actuators. Aerospace actuators come in many different shapes and sizes, but the fundamental theory behind attitude control is universal to nearly all aerospace vehicles. In this project, we’ll design a rudimentary attitude control system by focusing on the vehicle’s roll dynamics only. Your task is to architect a feedback control system to maintain level ‘flight’ about a quadrotor’s roll axis. We’ll begin by reviewing the equations of motion for a simple quadrotor model. Next, we’ll investigate and implement an industry-standard control method known as PID control. While using MATLAB to simulate and control the vehicle, we’ll discuss real-world hardware such as inertial measurement units (IMUs) and brushless (BLDC) motor controllers. Time-permitting, students will have the opportunity to investigate a new and exciting application of data-driven control (sometimes referred to as machine-learning control) through their quadrotor model. To learn more about the project and the fundamentals of control theory, please visit

Coding skills

MatLab (advanced), LaTeX (proficient), Git (proficient), C/C++ (beginner), Python (beginner)

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