Implementation of mechanical, electrical, and feedback control systems in unmanned aerial vehicles
Author(s)Tan, Derrick (Derrick Chi-Ho)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
MetadataShow full item record
The thesis objective was to design an unmanned aerial vehicle that was capable of stable, autonomous flight. A fixed wing aircraft was chosen to simplify some of the flight characteristics and avoid some of the challenges found in rotary wing machines. Two aircraft were tested: a large and heavy gasoline powered aircraft and a smaller and much lighter electric powered sailplane. An autopilot was implemented into both platforms that would fly the aircraft and allow the measurement of flight vehicle characteristics. A link with the vehicle was created by installing a radio modem that allowed communication between the autopilot and a ground computer. This allowed updates to the controllers PID feedback loops to change flight characteristics and made the recording of flight parameters possible. This would be useful later in the analysis of data. To control the vehicle remotely, a ground computer was used that ran systems monitoring software. It also allowed the programming of flight plans to the autopilot. Combining these systems together proved successful and stable flight was achieved in both aircraft. By using the same autopilot in both vehicles, it was proven that the electronic system could be modular and transplanted between various vehicles.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, June 2006.Includes bibliographical references (leaf 53).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology