Title page for ETD etd-05122012-150322

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author McCabe, Brian John
Author's Email Address bmccabe@vt.edu
URN etd-05122012-150322
Title Underslung Payload Tension Control from an Autonomous Unmanned Helicopter
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kochersberger, Kevin Bruce Committee Chair
Southward, Steve C. Committee Member
Wicks, Alfred L. Committee Member
  • Unmanned Systems
  • Tension Control
  • Tethered Payloads
Date of Defense 2012-05-02
Availability unrestricted
A tension control algorithm for the deployment of a unmanned ground vehicle from an

autonomous helicopter is designed and tested in this thesis. The physical hardware which

the controller will run on is detailed. The plant model and underlying controllers are derived

and modeled. The tension controller algorithm is selected, derived, and modeled. The

parameters of the tension controller are chosen and simulations are run with the chosen

parameters. The tension control algorithm is run on the physical hardware, successfully

demonstrating tension control on a ground vehicle. Robustness simulations are run for a

change in the radius of the spool and the length of the tether. Lastly, Future work is

outlined on several paths to move forward with the tension controller.

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