This paper addresses the problem of autonomous trajectory tracking control for a quadrotor in a global positioning system (GPS)-denied environment using only onboard sensing. To achieve that goal, it requires accurate estimation of quadrotor states followed by proper control actions. For the position estimation in a GPS-denied environment, an open source high speed optical flow sensor PX4FLOW is adopted. As for the quadrotor control, there are several challenges due to its highly nonlinear system dynamics, such as underactuation, coupling, model uncertainties, and external disturbances. To deal with those challenges, the cascaded inner–outer uncertainty and disturbance estimator (UDE)-based robust control scheme has been developed and applied to the attitude and position control of a quadrotor. Extensive real flight experiments, including attitude stabilization, hover, disturbance rejection, trajectory tracking, and comparison with the proportional–integral–derivative (PID) controller are carried out to demonstrate the effectiveness of the developed UDE-based controllers.

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