Instrumentation and Control of a Ducted Fan Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in Hover Mode
Straub, Benjamin Preston
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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly being used for both military and commercial applications to replace more costly and dangerous manned operations. Vehicles with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and hovering capabilities are of interest for functions such as surveillance and inspection where the ability to hold the position of the vehicle is desired. Ducted fan vehicles are of particular interest because of their high efficiency per unit diameter when compared to the more commonly seen multirotor vehicles. This makes ducted fan UAVs very well suited for size-constrained missions such as indoor inspection or urban reconnaissance. However, the advantages of ducted fans come at the cost of complex nonlinear dynamics which present challenging modeling and control problems. This thesis provides a detailed discussion of the instrumentation, modeling, and control of a ducted fan UAV. The dynamic model of the UAV is computed from a simplified parametric model. Unknown parameters of the model are found from system identification based on flight data. Synthesis of a linear state feedback controller based on this model is discussed, and it is demonstrated in hardware that this controller can effectively stabilize the vehicle.
- Masters Theses