Development of Non-Parametric In-Flight Tuning of PID Controllers for Position and Velocity of Quadrotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

  • Abdulrahman Almarzooqi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In a world in which technology is evolving, application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) is increasing day by day as they can be used in various areas. There are multiple types of UAVs based on the types of wings and the number of rotors, and one of the most known types of UAVs is the quadrotor. Quadrotors can be used in a high number of cases, and also the demand on control algorithms is increasing. Control systems engineering has been playing a major role in creating the foundation for the developments in the field of UAV technologies. It can help in maintaining the UAV's stabilization while carrying a heavy payload, keeping a constant speed in order to follow a specific target, or precisely landing on a moving platform. One of the most important controllers in engineering is the Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) Controller. Tuning PID controllers helps in achieving certain tasks similar to the ones mentioned previously, and in the field of UAVs it can stabilize the attitude, velocity, and position of the UAV. The methods of tuning differ as some tuning methodologies are based on trial and error while others are done through determining certain system characteristics using various tests defined in literature. The optimal performance of controllers cannot be guaranteed using the mentioned methodologies. Thus, this thesis shows how the Modified Relay Feedback Test (MRFT) is used to achieve optimal control parameters of quadrotors for both velocity and position channels. MRFT is applied on a quadrotor to generate oscillations and determine its characteristics such as frequency and amplitude. These characteristics help in identifying system tuning rules that are used to find the PID values.
Date of AwardOct 2019
Original languageAmerican English


  • Quadrotor Control
  • Modified Relay Feedback Test
  • PID Controller
  • Non-Parametric Tuning
  • Position and Velocity Controller.

Cite this