Year of Publication

2011

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

T. Michael Seigler

Abstract

This thesis addresses flight control of the perch landing maneuver for micro-aerial vehicles. A longitudinal flight model is constructed for a pigeon-sized aircraft. In addition to a standard elevator control surface, wing-rotation also considered as a non-standard actuator for increasing low-speed aerodynamic braking. Optimal state and control trajectories for the perch landing maneuver are computed using commercial software. A neighboring optimal control law is then developed and implemented in a set of flight simulations. Simulations are run with both a quasisteady and an unsteady aerodynamic model. The effectiveness of wing rotation and of the neighboring optimal control law is discussed, as is the importance of unsteady aerodynamics during the maneuver. Wing rotation was found to be minimally effective in this case, but it showed potential to be more effective in further research. The unsteady aerodynamic model has significant influence over the success or failure of the maneuver.

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