ECEN672/472: Modeling and Control of Drones

Instructor: Dr. Ali Karimoddini, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, NC A&T University, Email: akarimod at

Prerequisite: ECEN-410 or equivalent or consent of instructor

Course Overview: This course introduces a systematic approach to modeling and control of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The course explores different topics including UAV kinematics, rigid body dynamics, UAV mathematical model, automatic control, flight sensing and control mechanisms, and flight control design. In addition, the course will have some lab sessions for actual implementation of flight control systems on a small drone and/or software development and flight simulations.


Topics will include most of the following:

    • Automatic Control Structure
    • UAV Sensing and Control Structure
    • Designing a UAV
    • UAV Modeling and Identification
    • Feedback and PID control
    • UAV Control Simulation and Implementation
    • Robot Operating Systems
    • VISON-based Control and Navigation of UAVs


    • Barnhart, R., Michael, M., Marshall, D., and Shappee, E. ed. 2016. Introduction to Unmanned Aircraft Systems, 2nd edition. Boca Raton. CRC Press. ISBN ISBN 978-1482263930.
    • Fahlstrom, P. and Gleason, T. 2012. Introduction to UAV Systems. 4th edition. United Kingdom. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. ISBN: 9781119978664.

Robotic Experiments

The students are expected to be familiar with control systems, differential equation, MATLAB and have some knowledge of C++ language. The students should expect projects using ROS (robot operating system), Python language and cloud infrastructure.