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University of Southern California

1. Gadient, Ross. Adaptive control with aerospace applications.

Degree: PhD, Electrical Engineering, 2013, University of Southern California

Robust and adaptive control techniques have a rich history of theoretical development with successful application. Despite the accomplishments made, attempts to combine the best elements of each approach into robust adaptive systems has proven challenging, particularly in the area of application to real world aerospace systems. In this research, we investigate design methods for general classes of systems that may be applied to representative aerospace dynamics. By combining robust baseline control design with augmentation designs, our work aims to leverage the advantages of each approach. ❧ This research contributes the development of robust model-based control design for two classes of dynamics: 2nd order cascaded systems, and a more general MIMO framework. We present a theoretically justified method for state limiting via augmentation of a robust baseline control design. Through the development of adaptive augmentation designs, we are able to retain system performance in the presence of uncertainties. We include an extension that combines robust baseline design with both state limiting and adaptive augmentations. In addition we develop an adaptive augmentation design approach for a class of dynamic input uncertainties. We present formal stability proofs and analyses for all proposed designs in the research. ❧ Throughout the work, we present real world aerospace applications using relevant flight dynamics and flight test results. We derive robust baseline control designs with application to both piloted and unpiloted aerospace system. Using our developed methods, we add a flight envelope protecting state limiting augmentation for piloted aircraft applications and demonstrate the efficacy of our approach via both simulation and flight test. We illustrate our adaptive augmentation designs via application to relevant fixed-wing aircraft dynamics. Both a piloted example combining the state limiting and adaptive augmentation approaches, and an unpiloted example with adaptive augmentation show the ability of our approach to retain desired performance in the presence of relevant system uncertainty. Finally, we present alternative adaptive augmentation design developed to mitigate time delays at the system input and which demonstrates significant improvement over an existing widely used adaptive augmentation approach when applied to fixed wing aircraft dynamics. Advisors/Committee Members: Ioannou, Petros (Committee Chair), Safonov, Michael G. (Committee Member), Flashner, Henryk (Committee Member), Lavretsky, Eugene (Committee Member).

Subjects/Keywords: adaptive control; flight control; modern control; optimal control; robust control

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APA (6th Edition):

Gadient, R. (2013). Adaptive control with aerospace applications. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Southern California. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Gadient, Ross. “Adaptive control with aerospace applications.” 2013. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Southern California. Accessed March 20, 2019.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Gadient, Ross. “Adaptive control with aerospace applications.” 2013. Web. 20 Mar 2019.


Gadient R. Adaptive control with aerospace applications. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Southern California; 2013. [cited 2019 Mar 20]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Gadient R. Adaptive control with aerospace applications. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Southern California; 2013. Available from: