Dr. Guillaume Ducard - Research
Theory, Development, and Applications
  1. Home & Contact
  2. Biography
  3. Research
  4. Publications
  5. Teaching
  6. Other Responsabilities
  7. UAV Projects & Videos

Research Interests

Research in the field on Automatic Control, mostly applied to UAVs:

See the section UAV Projects & Videos for some practical examples.


Applications to Aeronautic Projects:

Avionics Integration, Autopilot Hardware/Software Design, Real Flight Experiments

The flying platforms for which I designed simulators, flight controllers and guidance systems include the following vehicles: I am currently responsible for the Hardware and Software development for the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in operation at I3S. I realize avionics integration, software development of new theoretical concepts, flight testing, and maintenance.
Here below you find the main flying platforms and equipment that we use for flight testing of our algorithms.

Multirotor Helicopters

Hexacopter from Mikrokopter
Flybox from SkybotiX

Fixed_wing Aircraft

I3Sglider AirBeaver
Aero Beaver from Robbe

Hybrid Vehicles


This hybrid vehicle is our latest platform for research. This vehicle is capable of vertical take off and landing, and transitions to forward flight. Our contribution lies in the development of a unified control law to control the vehicle in both regimes and to smoothly transition.

Vision Motion Tracking Setup


I recently acquired for the Lab a motion capture system: 8 cameras Optitrack S250e running at a maximum frame rate of 250 FPS are mounted in the ceiling of our experiments room (see left picture). This equipment enables us to have a ground truth for our attitude estimation and position control algorithms, for example.


Past Activities

Flying Machine Arena (2008-2009)

"Simulation, Control and Guidance of a Swarm of Quadricopters" for the Flying Machine Arena (FMA).

I contributed to the initial setup of the FMA. I designed the very first flight control and guidance systems for the quadrocopters. I also developed the first version of the simulator, which enabled the design and debug of various flight controllers, guidance algorithms, and multi-vehicle coordinated flights. Details here.

Fault-tolerant Flight Control and Guidance Systems for a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (2004-2007)

Ph.D. Thesis: n° 17505, ETH Zurich, November 2007.
Institute: Control and Measurement Laboratory, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zürich).
Thesis supervisor: Prof. Dr. Hans P. Geering.

Simulation and Flight Control Design of an Airship (2006)

More info, coming soon. Should you be interested, please feel free to contact me.

Laboratoire d'Informatique, Signaux et Systèmes de Sophia-Antipolis - UNS - CNRS
2000, route des Lucioles - Les Algorithmes - bât. Euclide B - BP 121 - 06903 Sophia Antipolis Cedex - France
Tél. +33 4 92 94 27 01 - Fax : +33 4 92 94 28 98 - www.i3s.unice.fr

Book releases

ISBN : 978-1-84882-560-4 ISBN : 978-7-118-07723-0 ISBN : 978-90-481-9706-4

Limited Offer

Get your original copy of one of the most popular PhD Thesis on fault-tolerant control of drones.

PhD_Thesis PhD_Thesis

Paper Download

arrow.png Find and download most of my scientific papers on Research Gate.


September 2016: New lecture notes about Digital Control are now available.

September 2015: Check latest Conference paper:
K. Rudin, L. Mosimann, G. Ducard, R.Y. Siegwart, “Robust Actuator Fault-tolerant Control using DK-Iteration: Theory and Application to UAS,” in Proceedings of the IFAC SAFEPROCESS, pp. 392 – 397, 2 – 4 September 2015. Publications.

April 2015: Check latest journal paper:
G. Ducard, SMAC-FDI: “Single Model Active Fault Detection and Isolation System for Unmanned Aircraft,” in International Journal of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. Publications.

October 2014: New papers presented at the IEEE Multi Systems Control Conference, Antibes, France.

September 2014: New book chapter in Handbook of UAVs, check Publications.

June 2014: New paper presented at the IEEE European Control Conference, Strasbourg, France.

November 2013: G. Ducard is teaching a new lecture at MSc level: Robotics. This class is mainly dedicated to avionic sytems used in UAV technologies. See the description of the lecture here.