In this section, it will be explained how to configure a whole mission for an airplane, in this case, “Mentor”. The typical phases will be detailed and the guidance for each one of them will be presented.
The takeoff phase will be the one where the aircraft goes from the initial to the lift off point.
The guidance for this phase will be a “Hold” of three variables: the pitch and roll angles will be kept to zero, while the yaw angle will be kept at the value that the aircraft has when is set on the runway.
Regarding the control loop, there are PIDs in the pitch, roll and yaw control channels, while the throttle has a ramp input as defined in the following figure.
The climbing phase is used to make the airplane reach the cruise altitude after the takeoff.
Set speed is the speed that will have the airplane during the climb.
Finally, in the “Route” options are configured the parameters that define the path during the climb phase.
- Flight path angle: angle at which the aircraft climbs.
- Radius of the circle trajectory made by the aircraft while is climbing.
- Distance: length from the lift-off point to the beginning of the circular trajectory.
- Altitude: height to be reached by aircraft during the circular climb.
The following figure is a representation of the climbing route parameters presented previously.
The cruise phase is where the aircraft follows a route marked by a set of waypoints, which are defined by the user in the “Mission” menu.
The parameters are the same as the ones from the climbing phase. It is possible to set a cruise speed, limit the accelerations or set the line attraction parameter. Moreover, there is another option related to the gains used to recover the hover point in a multicopter flight. In this case, the platform configured is an airplane so this one will not be used.
This phase is used to keep the aircraft at a constant heading, for example, when the radio connection is lost.
When this phase is active, the aircraft flies in a straight line, until another phase is commanded. The variables that are kept at a constant value are the pitch, the roll, and the IAS.
The landing phase is used to make the aircraft land at a certain airport. Also, when the flight altitude is too big, this phase contains the parameters which define the route performed by the platform to descent until an altitude where it can line up with the runway.
The route of the landing phase is shown in the following figure, where each one of the parameters that define it are explained.
The flare is a maneuver made by an aircraft just before the touchdown. Consists on a rise of the nose to decelerate the descent rate and set a proper attitude before touching the ground.
Considering what is wanted in this phase, the guidance to command is a “Hold” of the roll and pitch angle which sets them to zero. Regarding the thrust in this phase, the engines are shut off, so the mode of the controller is “off”.