Determining aerodynamic characteristics of a micro air vehicle using motion tracking

Daniel V. Uhlig, Agrim Sareen, Pritam Sukumar, Arjun H. Rao, Michael S Selig

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Measuring flight characteristics of micro-UAVs is challenging because of their small size and low weight. These constraints prevent the use of conventional onboard measurement systems. The objective of this research was to capture the state information of a radio controlled (RC) airplane using an off-board motion tracking system and to use this state information to study the performance of the airplane. The airplane used has a 37.5-cm (14.75-in) wingspan, weighs 11.5-g (0.41- oz), and has throttle, elevator and rudder control. Using the motion track, a time history of the position and attitude was recorded. This paper presents methods that were developed and implemented to calculate aerodynamic properties from the position and attitude tracking data. The lift and drag were estimated using data from uncontrolled glides and compared to predictions from thin airfoil theory. The state information was captured over multiple flight tests in order to study the airplane performance across various flight regimes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
EventAIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference - Toronto, ON, Canada
Duration: Aug 2 2010Aug 5 2010

Publication series

NameAIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference

Other

OtherAIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference
CountryCanada
CityToronto, ON
Period8/2/108/5/10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering

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