Title page for ETD etd-10082010-144859

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author May, James
URN etd-10082010-144859
Title Tethered Payload Control from an Autonomous 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
  • robotics
  • tethered payloads
Date of Defense 2010-08-09
Availability unrestricted
A system is designed to deploy and support a tethered ground robot from an autonomous

helicopter. A winch is designed and built. Electrical hardware for power distribution and

control are designed. Several applied controls problems are investigated. A control architecture

is established and low level controllers are designed to meet the demands of two

higher level algorithms. A tether tension controller is designed to avoid the danger of excess

slack in the tether interfering with the robot's mobility. A payload sway damping controller

is investigated and simulated. Its is shown to be e ective in damping dangerous payload

oscillations by modulating the vertical manipulation of the winch during hoisting. Future

design recommendations are given regarding improvements for a second design iteration.

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