Flight Control System Design for a High Altitude, Long Endurance Airplane: Sensor Distribution and Flexible Modes Control

Abstract

This manuscript outlines the control system design process for a solar-powered unmanned high-altitude long endurance flying wing aircraft, called Aquila, which was developed by the Facebook Connectivity Lab to serve as communication backhaul for remote and rural connectivity. With 400kg mass and 42m wing-span, it was designed to autonomously fly at stratospheric altitudes of the atmosphere between 18 and 26km for months at a time.

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