This paper presents a method for the estimation of thrust model parameters of uninhabited airborne systems using specific flight tests. Particular tests are proposed to simplify the estimation. The proposed estimation method is based on three steps. The first step uses a regression model in which the thrust is assumed constant. This allows us to obtain biased initial estimates of the aerodynamic coeficients of the surge model. In the second step, a robust nonlinear state estimator is implemented using the initial parameter estimates, and the model is augmented by considering the thrust as random walk. In the third step, the estimate of the thrust obtained by the observer is used to fit a polynomial model in terms of the propeller advanced ratio. We consider a numerical example based on Monte-Carlo simulations to quantify the sampling properties of the proposed estimator given realistic flight conditions.
7th IFAC Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles. Proceedings of the 7th IFAC Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles (Lecce, Italy 6-8 September, 2010)