Autonomous Hover Control System for a Radio-Controlled Aerobatic Airplane

University essay from KTH/Mekatronik

Abstract: Being able to fly has always been one of humanities greatest dreams, and today anyone can purchase a Radio-Controlled (RC) airplane or helicopter and learn how to fly. Experienced RC pilots perform stunts such as “prop hanging”. This is when an airplane flies vertically while maintaining its position with the propeller being the only motive force. In this thesis, the first steps towards converting a manually controlled hovering airplane to an autonomous one are taken by using one single accelerometer to measure differences in acceleration as input data for a height regulator. A built prototype with the height regulator implemented is tested in a test rig. The finished regulator is able to adjust and keep the airplane stable when exposed to small to medium disturbances. The regulator’s biggest weakness is the lack of input data regarding the velocity. Big disturbances result in a constant velocity, which gives zero acceleration input data, and an airplane flying away from its equilibrium position.

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