Open Access

An Adaptive PID Control System for the Attitude and Altitude Control of a Quadcopter


In adaptive model-based control systems, determining the appropriate controller gain is a complex and time-consuming task due to noise and external disturbances. Changes in the controller parameters were assumed to be dependent on the quadcopter mass, which was the process variable. A nonlinear model of the plant was used to identify the mass, employing the weighted recursive least squares (WRLS) method for online identification. The identification and control processes involved filtration using differential filters, which provided appropriate derivatives of signals. Proportional integral derivative (PID) controller tuning was performed using the Gauss–Newton optimisation procedure on the plant. Differential filters played a crucial role in all the developed control systems by significantly reducing measurement noise. The results showed that the performance of classical PID controllers can be improved by using differential filters and gain scheduling. The control and identification algorithms were implemented in an National Instruments (NI) myRIO-1900 controller. The nonlinear model of the plant was built based on Newton’s equations.