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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

An Annular Wing VTOL UAV: Flight Dynamics and Control

Institute for Dynamic Systems and Controls, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
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Drones 2020, 4(2), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones4020014
Received: 26 March 2020 / Revised: 15 April 2020 / Accepted: 15 April 2020 / Published: 26 April 2020
A vertical takeoff and landing, unmanned aerial vehicle is presented that features a quadrotor design for propulsion and attitude stabilization, and an annular wing that provides lift in forward flight. The annular wing enhances human safety by enshrouding the propeller blades. Both the annular wing and the propulsion units are fully characterized in forward flight via wind tunnel experiments. An autonomous control system is synthesized that is based on model inversion, and accounts for the aerodynamics of the wing. It also accounts for the dominant aerodynamics of the propellers in forward flight, specifically the thrust and rotor torques when subject to oblique flow conditions. The attitude controller employed is tilt-prioritized, as the aerodynamics are invariant to the twist angle of the vehicle. Outdoor experiments are performed, resulting in accurate tracking of the reference position trajectories at high speeds. View Full-Text
Keywords: UA; UAS; UAV; VTOL; hybrid VTOL; tail-sitter; fixed wing; closed wing; control system; outdoor flight; control allocation; forward flight; oblique flow UA; UAS; UAV; VTOL; hybrid VTOL; tail-sitter; fixed wing; closed wing; control system; outdoor flight; control allocation; forward flight; oblique flow
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gill, R.; D’Andrea, R. An Annular Wing VTOL UAV: Flight Dynamics and Control. Drones 2020, 4, 14.

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