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Majalah Ilmiah UNIKOM

Vol.9, No. 2


H a l a m a n




Department of Electrical Engineering

Engineering and Computer Science Faculty

Universitas Komputer Indonesia

Helicopter dynamic are in general nonlinear, time-varying and may be highly

uncertain. This paper presents the design and implementation of a Proportional-

Integral-Derivative (PID) Controller to control the elevation and travel of three-

degrees-of freedom (3DOF) Helicopter. The controller is linear time-invariant and

can be realized easily. The simulation results show that the designed control

system can guarantee high precision altitude and elevation control under multi-

Index Terms –


In this paper, a Proportional-Integral-

Derivative (PID) controller is applied to a

laboratory helicopter model used in the

experiment is a laboratory-scale three-

degrees-of freedom (3DOF) helicopter

produced by Quanser Consulting, Inc. The

3DOF helicopter control system is a

nonlinear MIMO uncertain system with

unknown constant parameters, bounded

disturbance and nonlinear uncertainty. Our

control goal is to have the attitude of the

helicopter track a reference signal by output


The 3DOF helicopter consists of a base

upon which a long arm is mounted. The arm

carries the “helicopter body” on one end

and a counterweight on the other. The arm

can tilt about an “elevation” axis as well as

swivel about a vertical (travel) axis.

Quadrature optical encoders mounted on

these axes allow for measuring the

elevation and travel of the arm. The pitch

angle is measured via a third encoder. Two

motors with propellers mounted on the

helicopter body can generate a force

proportional to the voltage applied to the

motors. The force generated by the

propellers causes the helicopter body to lift

off the ground. The purpose of the

counterweight is to reduce the power

requirements on the motors. Electrical

signals to and from the arm and helicopter

are channeled through the slipring to

eliminate tangled wires, reduce friction and

allow for unlimited and unhindered travel.

The purpose of the experiment is to

design a PID controller to maneuver the

helicopter body to track and regulate the

elevation and travel of the 3DOF Helicopter.

The paper is organized as follows.

Dynamic model of a helicopter is provided in

Section II. Designing the control system is

presented in Section III. The simulation

results are provided in Section IV. In Section

V, we conclude with conclusion.


The research presented in this paper is

based on a mathematical model of a 3-DOF