Control of Cyclocopter for Aggressive Maneuvers and in Gusty Environments
Sponsors: Army Research Laboratory, Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST) CTA
The objective of this joint experimentation project was to develop technologies to enable small scale MAV configurations perform multi-mission tasks in highly cluttered and gusty environments. Within the CTA-MAST program, the cycloidal rotor concept was systematically investigated and has demonstrated significant potential towards improved hover and forward flight performance. Several fully functional aerial systems were developed ranging from 100 grams to 800 grams. By adjusting the phase of airfoil pitch as it travels around the azimuth, the thrust can be vectored by 360 degrees almost instantaneously. This can potentially allow for unique attitude configurations during maneuvers such as upwards, sideways, and upside-down modes and for gust rejection from all directions. Additionally, reduced order modeling of a twin-cyclocopter from system identification studies, have shown the following: (1) significant gyroscopic coupling between roll and yaw modes, which when appropriately utilized can enhance the maneuverability of the cyclocopter, and (2) unique damped characteristics for lateral, longitudinal and heave perturbations, which can be exploited for greater gust disturbance rejection capability.
Student: Carl Runco