Distributed Formation Control of Multiple Aircraft Using Constraint Forces Conference Paper uri icon


  • A new approach for formation flight control of multiple aircraft is presented. Constraint forces are used to derive the dynamics of a constrained, multi-body system. A stable, distributed control algorithm is designed based on the information flow graph for a group of aircraft. The aircraft will achieve a particular formation while ensuring accurate navigation of the entire group. It is assumed that uncertainty exists in the drag coefficient of each aircraft. An adaptation algorithm is developed to compensate for the uncertainty and estimate the drag coefficient. The advantage of the proposed distributed control algorithm is that it allows the addition/removal of other aircraft into/from the formation seamlessly with simple modifications of the control input. Furthermore, the algorithm provides inherent scalability. Simulations were conducted to verify the proposed approach. ©2008 AACC.

author list (cited authors)

  • Zou, Y., Pagilla, P. R., & Ratliff, R. T.

citation count

  • 4

publication date

  • June 2008