Characterization and scaling of co-axial unmanned rotocraft

Project: Research project

Project Details


Project Abstract: Current generation small autonomous rotocraft have in many cases converged to multirotor configurations. There are several advantages: mechanical simplicity (the only moving parts are motors); good controllability; reasonable scalability (10's of grams to hundreds of kilograms take-off weight); and potential for redundancy (in the case of vehicles with more than four rotors).A coxial tilting-head configuration has been demonstrated at small scale (10lb total weight) and at scale large enough to carry a human. This configuration has some advantages: it is compact (the overall vehicle diameter is smaller than a multirotor with comparable disc loading); disc loading can be readily scaled by changing rotor diameter (without the need to also modify the structure to accommodate increased rotor diameter); control does not require swashplates.The purpose of work proposed here is to build and characterize a small (1 foot diameter) coaxial rotor helicopter. In this particular case, the blades will be rigid and flight control will be effected via till to f the rotor head (for lateral and longitudinal control), different torque (for yaw control), and total thrust (for heave control). We will develop scaling laws for this class of vehicle and examine controllability near hover and in forward flight, using CIFER for system identification.

Effective start/end date9/1/19 → …


  • U.S. Navy: $90,095.00


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