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Semi-empirical estimation and experimental method for determining inertial properties of the Unmanned Aerial System – UAS-S4 of Hydra Technologies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 October 2017

Y. Tondji
Affiliation:
ETS, Laboratory of Applied Research in Active Controls, University of Quebec, Avionics and AeroServoElasticity LARCASE, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
R. M. Botez*
Affiliation:
ETS, Laboratory of Applied Research in Active Controls, University of Quebec, Avionics and AeroServoElasticity LARCASE, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Abstract

This article presents a structural analysis of the Unmanned Aerial System UAS-S4 ETHECATL. Mass, centre of gravity position and principal mass moment of inertia are numerically determined and further experimentally verified using the ‘pendulum method’. The numerical estimations are computed through Raymer and DATCOM statistical-empirical methods coupled with mechanical calculations. The mass of the UAS-S4 parts are estimated according to their sizes and the UAS-S4 class, by the means of Raymer statistical equations. The UAS-S4 is also decomposed in several simple geometrical figures which centres of gravity are individually computed, weighted and then arithmetically averaged to find the whole UAS-S4 centre of gravity. In the same way, DATCOM equations allows us to estimate the mass moments of inertia of each UAS-S4 parts that are finally sum up according to the Huygens-Steiner theorem for computing the principal moment of inertia of the whole UAS-S4. The mass of de UAS-S4 is experimentally determined with two scales. Its centre of gravity coordinates and its mass moment of inertia are found using the pendulum method. A bifilar torsion-type pendulum methodology is used for the vertical axis(14) and a simple pendulum methodology is used for the longitudinal and transversal axes(12). The test object is installed on a pendulum (simple or bifilar torsion pendulum) which is led to oscillate freely while recording the oscillation's angles and speed, by the means of three sensors (an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a magnetometer) that the calibration is also discussed. Simultaneously, nonlinear dynamic models are developed for the rotational motion of pendulums, including the effects of large-angle oscillations, aerodynamic drag, viscous damping and additional momentum of air. ‘Algorithms of minimization’ are then used to simulate and actualise the dynamic models and finally chose the model that simulated data best fit the experimentally recorded one. Pendulum parameters, such as mass moment of inertia, are lastly extracted from the chosen model. To determine the accuracy of the nonlinear dynamics approach of the pendulum method, the experimental results for an object of uniform density for which the mass moments of inertia are computed numerically from geometrical data are presented along with the experimental results obtained for the UAS-S4 ETHECATL. For the uniform density object, the experimental method gives, with respect to the numerical results, an error of 4.4% for the mass moment of inertia around the Z axis and 9.5% for the moment of inertia around the X and Y axes. In addition, the experimental results for the UAS-S4 inertial values validate the numerical calculation through DATCOM method with a relative error of 6.52% on average.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Royal Aeronautical Society 2017 

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