Control of RCS

PhD student

Hugo Peters
Hans Goosen
Fred van Keulen




Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) are a class of small aircraft, smaller than 15 cm, with a large range of applications such as surveillance, inspection and sensing. For indoor use a Flapping Wing Micro Air Vehicle (FWMAV), see picture, was developed that uses resonance and a fully compiant structure to create lift. This optimizes efficiency and minimises weight while maintaining the possibility for further downscaling.

For stable flight and manoeuvring, control mechanism is necessary that influences the resonant behaviour of the structure. To this end, actuators need to be developed that are light and require minimal energy while allowing for sufficient variation in the kinematics of the resonant systems to allow for flight control. Possible solutions include changes in stiffness of components, mass distribution and variable damping. Although several actuators exist that exhibit such behaviour, none has ever been used for control in a resonant system. In addition the integration of the actuator in the system without adding a lot of mass or complexity and the ability to miniaturise is paramount.


The current FWMAV uses the resonance properties of its compliant structure to allow for energy efficient lift generation. By exciting the structure in one of its resonance frequencies a symmetric flapping mode is achieved. To allow for active flight we should be able to modify the symmetric flapping mode. Therefore, we are looking to control the eigensolutions, i.e., resonance modes and resonance frequencies, of our FWMAV. Eigensolution sensitivity is used to find the optimal way to control the eigensolutions. In this way, the optimal location to place the control actuators can be found. Although applied to the resonating structure of the FWMAV, these methods are applicable to resonating compliant structures in general. 


No publications available.


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