Design, construction and flight control of a quad tilt-wing unmanned aerial vehicle
Çetinsoy, Ertuğrul (2010) Design, construction and flight control of a quad tilt-wing unmanned aerial vehicle. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1302889 (Table of Contents)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are flying robots that are employed both in civilian and military applications with a steeply increasing trend. They are already used extensively in civilian applications such as law enforcement, earth surface mapping and surveillance in disasters, and in military missions such as surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition. As the demand on their utilization increases, novel designs with far more advances in autonomy, flight capabilities and payloads for carrying more complex and intelligent sensors are emerging. With these technological advances, people will find even newer operational fields for UAVs. This thesis work focuses on the design, construction and flight control of a novel UAV (SUAVI: Sabanci University Unmanned Aerial VehIcle). SUAVI is an electric powered compact size quad tilt-wing UAV, which is capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) like a helicopter, and flying horizontally like an airplane by tilting its wings. It carries onboard cameras for capturing images and broadcasting them via RF communication with the ground station. In the aerodynamic and mechanical design of SUAVI, flight duration, flight speed, size, power source and missions to be carried out are taken into account. The aerodynamic design is carried out by considering the maximization of the aerodynamic efficiency and the safe fiight characteristics. The components in the propulsion system are selected to optimize propulsion efficiency and fulfill the requirements of the control for a stable flight in the entire speed range. Simulation results obtained by ANSYS and NASA FoilSimII are evaluated and motor thrust tests are conducted during this optimization process. The power source is determined by taking the weight and flight duration into account. The wings and the fuselage are shaped iteratively in fluid flow simulations. Additionally, the verification of aerodynamic design and maneuverability are assessed in the wind tunnel tests on the half-body prototype. The mechanical structure is designed to be lightweight, strong and protective, and to allow easy assembly and disassembly of SUAVI for practical use. The safety factors in the mechanical system are determined using FEM analysis in ANSYS environment. Specimens of candidate composite skin materials are prepared and tested for lightness, strength and integrity in mechanical tests. The ready for flight prototype SUAVI is produced from the selected composite material. Dynamical model of SUAVI is obtained using Newton-Euler formulation. Aerodynamic disturbances such as wind gusts are modeled using the wellknown Dryden wind turbulence model. As the flight control system, a supervisory control architecture is implemented where a Gumstix microcomputer and several Atmega16 microcontrollers are used as the high-level and low- level controllers, respectively. Gumstix computer acts as a supervisor which orchestrates switching of low-level controllers into the system and is responsible for decision making, monitoring states of the vehicle and safety checks during the entire flight. It also generates attitude references for the low-level controllers using data from GPS or camera. Various analog and digital filters are implemented to smooth out noisy sensor measurements. Extended Kalman filter is utilized to obtain reliable orientation information by fusing data from low-cost MEMS inertial sensors such as gyros, accelerometers and the compass. PID controllers are implemented for both the high-level GPS based acceleration controller and the low-level altitude and attitude controllers. External disturbances are estimated and compensated by a disturbance observer. Real-time control software is developed for the whole fiight control system. SUAVI can operate in semi-autonomous mode by communicating with the ground station. A quadrotor test platform (SUQUAD: Sabanci University QUADrotor) is also produced and used for the initial performance tests of the fiight control system. After successful fiight tests on this platform, the control system is transferred to SUAVI. Performance of the flight control system is verified by numerous simulations and real flight experiments. VTOL and horizontal flights are successfully realized.
Repository Staff Only: item control page