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Measurement of aerodynamic characteristics of MAVs using motion tracking

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Title: Measurement of aerodynamic characteristics of MAVs using motion tracking
Author(s): Rao, Arjun
Advisor(s): Selig, Michael S.
Department / Program: Aerospace Engineering
Discipline: Aerospace Engineering
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.S.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): Micro air vehicles (MAV) Reynolds number remote controlled (RC) aircraft airplane model lift drag thrust moment stability control pitch roll yaw weathercock weathervane motion tracking motion capture VICON camera wand Re lift curve drag polar propeller APC sport E-flite sideslip static margin (SM) axis axes PropellerScanner airfoil wing lifting line theory theory experimental aerodynamics calibration noise markers camera Euler angles longitudinal lateral advance ratio density data points Extra 260 Extra 300 3D glider frequency revolutions per minute (RPM) body-fixed Earth-fixed transformation rotation matrix filter low-pass finite difference robust lineqar least-squares parabolic Uhlig Selig Rao
Abstract: Aerodynamic characteristics of Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) is not well addressed in aeronautics literature, and more experimental data are required to help better understand the behavior of fixed-wing MAVs. In the current research, aerodynamic and stability characteristics of two MAVs were measured using a motion tracking system. Both the aircraft position and propeller rotation were tracked. The aircraft used were flat foam surface, highly aerobatic RC models. Tests were conducted for unpowered and powered flight conditions to assess the aerodynamic performance of a commercially manufactured Extra 300 3D and a custom-built Extra 260 with wingspans of 42.67 cm (16.8 in) and 41.27 cm (16.25 in), respectively. A comparison of theoretical calculations with experimental results was made for parameters such as the lift curve and neutral point location. The aircraft used in this research operated in a Reynolds number range of 20,000 to 30,000. Low Reynolds numbers effects that influence the aerodynamic characteristics and performance of the aircraft are discussed in this thesis. The behavior of MAVs in powered flight was analyzed by testing the Extra 300 3D over a range of propeller advance ratios (J = 0.3–1.0) with the propeller running at pre-determined speeds (RPM). A thrust model was developed for a commercially manufactured propeller, and the lift and drag characteristics of the aircraft was analyzed. The results indicate that the propeller induced flow influences the aerodynamic performance of the aircraft. Results indicate a delay in the onset of stall, an increase in the lift curve slope, and reduction in drag with decreasing advance ratios (J). The results show a myriad of interesting aerodynamic trends that are discussed.
Issue Date: 2012-05-22
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 by Arjun Harsha Rao. All rights reserved.
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-05-22
Date Deposited: 2012-05

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