Fixed-wing MAV attitude stability in atmospheric turbulence, part 1: Suitability of conventional sensors

A. Mohamed, R. Clothier, S. Watkins, R. Sabatini, M. Abdulrahim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Fixed-wing Micro-Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) need effective sensors that can rapidly detect turbulence induced motion perturbations. Current MAV attitude control systems rely on inertial sensors. These systems can be described as reactive; detecting the disturbance only after the aircraft has responded to the disturbing phenomena. In this part of the paper, the current state of the art in reactive attitude sensing for fixed-wing MAVs are reviewed. A scheme for classifying the range of existing and emerging sensing techniques is presented. The features and performance of the sensing approaches are discussed in the context of their application to MAV attitude control systems in turbulent environments. It is found that the use of single sensors is insufficient for MAV control in the presence of turbulence and that potential gains can be realised from multi-sensor systems. A successive paper to be published in this journal will investigate novel attitude sensors which have the potential to improve attitude control of MAVs in Turbulence.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)69-82
Number of pages14
JournalProgress in Aerospace Sciences
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • Conventional attitude sensors
  • Gust perturbation process
  • Gyroscopes and accelerometers
  • Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV)
  • Sensor survey and evaluation
  • Turbulence


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