Title: A rotor-tilt-free tricopter UAV: design, modelling, and stability control

Authors: Belal H. Sababha; Hamzeh M. Al Zu'bi; Osamah A. Rawashdeh

Addresses: Computer Engineering Department, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Amman, 11941, Jordan ' Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan 48309, USA ' Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan 48309, USA

Abstract: This paper presents an unconventional tri-rotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) design that only employs three brushless motors with three fixed pitch propellers for propulsion and flight control. No additional mechanics for dynamically tilting motor(s), found on existing tricopters, are used. The dynamic model of the proposed system is developed. Then a control strategy to control the stability and manoeuvring of the UAV is presented. The control strategy is achieved by only manipulating the rotational speeds of the propellers at each rotor. Two of the rotors rotate in the same direction while the third rotates in the opposite direction. The control methodology is novel compared to other systems that require either coaxial rotors or an extra servo motor to control the yaw of the UAV. Results show that the proposed design achieved stable flight with minimal position-attitude cross control effect. The fixed nature of the rotors in the proposed design, reduced mechanical requirements and cost compared to existing vehicles of its type.

Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicles; UAVs; tri-rotors; tricopters; vertical takeoff and landing; VTOL; rotor tilt; UAV design; UAV modelling; stability control; brushless motors; fixed pitch propellers; propulsion; flight control; dynamic modelling.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMA.2015.075956

International Journal of Mechatronics and Automation, 2015 Vol.5 No.2/3, pp.107 - 113

Available online: 18 Apr 2016 *

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