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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1764

Title: A multimodal micro air vehicle for autonomous flight in near-earth environments
Authors: Green, William Edward
Keywords: Mechanical engineering;Autonomous robots;Aerospace engineering
Issue Date: 4-Sep-2007
Abstract: Reconnaissance, surveillance, and search-and-rescue missions in near-Earth environments such as caves, forests, and urban areas pose many new challenges to command and control (C2) teams. Of great significance is how to acquire situational awareness when access to the scene is blocked by enemy fire, rubble, or other occlusions. Small bird-sized aerial robots are expendable and can fly over obstacles and through small openings to assist in the acquisition and distribution of intelligence. However, limited flying space and densely populated obstacle fields requires a vehicle that is capable of hovering, but also maneuverable. A secondary flight mode was incorporated into a fixed-wing aircraft to preserve its maneuverability while adding the capability of hovering. An inertial measurement sensor and onboard flight control system were interfaced and used to transition the hybrid prototype from cruise to hover flight and sustain a hover autonomously. Furthermore, the hovering flight mode can be used to maneuver the aircraft through small openings such as doorways. An ultrasonic and infrared sensor suite was designed to follow exterior building walls until an ingress route was detected. Reactive control was then used to traverse the doorway and gather reconnaissance. Entering a dangerous environment to gather intelligence autonomously will provide an invaluable resource to any C2 team. The holistic approach of platform development, sensor suite design, and control serves as the philosophy of this work.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1764
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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