Real-time nonlinear MPC and MHE for a large-scale mechatronic application

Milan Vukov, S. Gros, G. Horn, Gianluca Frison, K. Geebelen, John Bagterp Jørgensen, J. Swevers, Moritz Diehl

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Progress in optimization algorithms and in computational hardware made deployment of Nonlinear Model Predictive Control (NMPC) and Moving Horizon Estimation (MHE) possible to mechatronic applications. This paper aims to assess the computational performance of NMPC and MHE for rotational start-up of Airborne Wind Energy systems. The capabilities offered by an automatic code generation tool are experimentally verified on a real physical system, using a model comprising 27 states and 4 inputs at a sampling frequency of 25 Hz. The results show the feedback times less than 5 ms for the NMPC with more than 1500 variables.
Original languageEnglish
JournalControl Engineering Practice
Pages (from-to)64-78
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Nonlinear model predictive control
  • Moving horizon estimation
  • Real-time iteration (RTI) scheme
  • Automatic code generation
  • Airborne wind energy
  • Rotational start-up


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