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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X012654/1
Title: Enhanced Control Methods for Aerial and Space Vehicles Equipped with Limited Force Actuators
Principal Investigator: Turner, Professor MC
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
University of Louisville
Department: Sch of Electronics and Computer Sci
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 May 2022 Ends: 30 April 2025 Value (£): 244,356
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
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Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This research supports the nation's defense and space programs by providing new methods for controlling aerial and space vehicles, e.g., drones, missiles, rockets, landers, and ascent vehicles. The research also promotes the progress of science by addressing an unresolved issue: aerial and space vehicles have actuators (propellers, control surfaces, thrusters) that can only produce a limited amount of force when maintaining the vehicle's flight path. For example, Martian landers and ascent vehicles are sensitive to unpredictable environmental forces that may prevent them from following their desired trajectory. To counterbalance these forces, the flight control system may have to request thrust commands that exceed the limits of the vehicle's thrusters. The consequence: undesirable flight performance which may hinder the mission. To avoid this, control engineers presently exploit over-sized thrusters at the expense of increased vehicle weight and cost. This research provides control methods that safeguard against this consequence allowing control engineers to design vehicles with smaller sized actuators, hence providing vehicle weight, cost, and scheduling savings. Integrated research, teaching and outreach activities will be carried out through affiliations with university institutes and external centers that foster multidisciplinary collaboration among engineering and other STEM departments, and through collaborations with scholarly organizations that serve historically underrepresented populations. The project will have an impact at the international level through this joint United States/United Kingdom collaboration.

Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk