Post-Rotor-Failure Performance of a Feedback Controller for a Hexacopter

A feedback controller is designed and implemented for a regular hexacopter based on the AeroQuad Cyclone ARF kit. This controller is designed with an inner loop control law as a set of parallel PID controllers for aircraft altitude, pitch, roll, and yaw attitudes, as well as an outer loop for control over aircraft body velocities. Rotor failure is modeled in the dynamic simulation by setting the rotor force and moment output to be zero regardless of the commanded control input to that rotor, the feedback controller utilizes no knowledge of this fault during simulation. Various trajectories are commanded to examine the performance of the baseline feedback controller in the event of forward rotor failure, including hover, forward flight, and more complex maneuvers. The controller is demonstrated to recover the aircraft states after the transient effects of the rotor failure, as well as complete the defined state trajectory, demonstrating tolerance to single rotor failure.


McKay, M., Niemiec, R., and Gandhi, F., "Post-Rotor-Failure Performance of a Feedback Controller for a Hexacopter ,"

Proceedings of the 74th American Helicopter Society Annual Forum, Phoenix, Arizona, May 15-17, 2018.