157. INVESTIGATING THE USE OF WING SWEEP FOR PITCH CONTROL OF A SMALL UNMANNED AIR VEHICLE

Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Thomas Bewley
Award(s): Department Best Poster

Primary Student
Name: Kim Wright
Email: k5wright@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-822-3729
Grad Year: 2011

Student Collaborators
Saam Ostovari, saostova@ucsd.edu | Anand Vaidya, andy_vaid@yahoo.co.in

Abstract
Small Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) are versatile tools with both civilian and military applications. Fixed wing UAVs require forward airspeed to remain airborne, usually resulting in constant energy expenditure to loiter over targets. A UAV capable of perching could reduce energy expenditure by settling on a site near the target, thus increasing mission duration. Avian perching techniques were observed to build a hypothesis for the biological control techniques employed during the landing maneuver. Variation of wing sweep for pitch control was identified as a contributing control method, and selected for study. A biologically-inspired aircraft was designed with variable wing sweep, and modeled using a combination of Matlab and Athena Vortex Lattice (AVL) to predict pitching moment as a function of wing sweep. A small remote controlled prototype was built with variable wing sweep in addition to standard flight control surfaces. An onboard microcontroller and inertia measurement unit (IMU) were used to record aircraft pitch and wing sweep data during flight. Pitch response to wing sweep was observed, and a PID control system was designed to implement closed loop pitch control using wing sweep.

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