Title page for ETD etd-04062006-231844

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Cooper, Jared K
Author's Email Address jacoope1@vt.edu
URN etd-04062006-231844
Title Modeliing of a Small-Scale Remote Controllable Helicopter for Simulation and Control Development
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Reinholtz, Charles F. Committee Chair
Wicks, Alfred L. Committee Member
Woolsey, Craig A. Committee Member
  • rotorcraft
  • modeling
  • simulation
Date of Defense 2006-02-22
Availability restricted
Abstract The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University has recently expanded its unmanned and autonomous systems research to include aerial vehicles. In the summer of 2004, members of the Autonomous Aerial Vehicle Team at Virginia Tech successfully competed in the Student UAV competition and the International Aerial Robotics Competition. The AAVT entered a fixed-wing vehicle in the former and a rotary-wing craft in the latter competition. Commercial flight controllers were used in both competitions in order to familiarize team members with this technology.

The next step in research at VT focuses on developing an experimental rotorcraft platform to be used for control algorithm testing and development. Before the development of a flight control system is possible, a physical plant or model accurately describing the dynamics of the system is required. Use of the model in a virtual simulation environment is also beneficial to tune control gains and analyze robustness of the closed-loop system. The work presented focuses on developing a 6 degree-of-freedom model of a small-scale single shaft rotorcraft. The particular platform being developed is the Bergen Industrial Twin. In addition to dynamical concerns, attention is paid to performance characteristics of the aircraft. The nonlinear system of equations is solved which can be utilized in a simulated environment. Linear models are extracted and their control and stability characteristics are analyzed. Finally, the methodology is explained for obtaining models through system identification techniques using the CIFER facility.

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