Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2017

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - (M.S.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

MengChu Zhou

Second Advisor

Yun Q. Shi

Third Advisor

Xiwang Guo


The world’s commercial unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry has witnessed unprecedented boom in recent years. Delighted with an ample supply of this excellent high-tech product, global consumers are paying more attention on UAVs. Civilian UAVs now vastly outnumber military ones, with the estimate of over a million sold by 2016. An UAV has various degrees of autonomy as enabled by the use and precise control of motors. Traditional Direct Current (DC) motors are replaced by permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) associated with the new power electronic inverters. Because of a PMSM’s higher power density than a DC motor, it reduces the rotor losses, thus improving its efficiency. The other improvement comes from the advanced control methods. The simple drive system based on a DC motor with open-loop control is outdated. High frequency switches in power electronic inverters offer an opportunity to change motor input voltage values and frequencies faster than ever before. Vector control approaches are employed with closed-loop feedback control, which brings high precision and good dynamics. Integrated inverter-motor drive systems are in progress. This thesis focuses on how to control PMSM installed in the UVAs with a high performance of dynamic response and fewer speed ripples. Field Oriented Control (FOC) is one type of vector controls to control a PMSM in a quadrotor. FOC of PMSM and Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) are introduced. The simulation results of FOC of PMSM with third-harmonic injection PWM and traditional FOC are compared. This comparison proves that FOC of PMSM with third-harmonic injection provides a better dynamic response for a quadrotor’s movement in vertical direction. In addition, since PWM is helpful to reduce the speed ripples, PMSM has a better steady-state response during operations.



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