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Research Papers

A Flight Dynamics Model for a Small-Scale Flybarless Helicopter

[+] Author and Article Information
Skander Taamallah

National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR),
Anthony Fokkerweg 2,
Amsterdam 1059 CM, The Netherlands
e-mail: staamall@nlr.nl

Contributed by the Dynamic Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF DYNAMIC SYSTEMS, MEASUREMENT, AND CONTROL. Manuscript received March 18, 2015; final manuscript received September 10, 2015; published online November 18, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Yongchun Fang.

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 138(1), 011010 (Nov 18, 2015) (20 pages) Paper No: DS-15-1122; doi: 10.1115/1.4031738 History: Received March 18, 2015; Revised September 10, 2015

We present a helicopter flight dynamics nonlinear model for a flybarless, articulated, pitch–lag–flap (P–L–F) main rotor (MR) with rigid blades, particularly suited for small-scale unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The model incorporates the MR, tail rotor (TR), fuselage, and tails. This model is further applicable for high bandwidth control specifications and is valid for a range of flight conditions, including the vortex-ring-state (VRS) and autorotation. Additionally, the paper reviews all assumptions made in deriving the model, i.e., structural, aerodynamics, and dynamical simplifications. Simulation results show that this nonlinear model is in good agreement with an equivalent flightlab model, for both static (trim) and dynamic conditions.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Helicopter inputs u (in green), states x (in blue the rigid body states and in red the MR states), and measurements y (measured states)

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Fig. 2

NLR's Facility for Unmanned Rotorcraft Research project. Typical MR hub for a (small-scale) UAV helicopter (courtesy of NLR).

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Fig. 3

MR frames (top view)

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Fig. 4

MR frames (side view)

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Fig. 9

Trim along the inertial north velocity VN: control inputs (– flightlab and * our model)

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Fig. 10

Trim along the inertial east velocity VE: control inputs (– flightlab and * our model)

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Fig. 11

Trim along the inertial vertical velocity VZ: control inputs (– flightlab and * our model)

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Fig. 5

NLR's mini-UAV project (2012–2014) based on a modified Align T-Rex helicopter (courtesy of NLR)

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Fig. 6

Trim along the inertial north velocity VN: roll and pitch angles and MR power (– flightlab and * our model)

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Fig. 7

Trim along the inertial east velocity VE: roll and pitch angles and MR power (– flightlab and * our model)

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Fig. 8

Trim along the inertial vertical velocity VZ: roll and pitch angles and MR power (– flightlab and * our model)

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Fig. 13

Vehicle dynamics (test case 1): response to sine-sweep inputs from hover (– flightlab and – – our model)

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Fig. 14

Vehicle dynamics (test case 2): response to sine-sweep inputs from VN=10 m/s (– flightlab and – – our model)

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Fig. 15

Vehicle dynamics (test case 3): response to sine-sweep inputs from autorotation starting at (VN,VZ)=(6,−6) m/s (– flightlab and – – our model)

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Fig. 12

Vehicle dynamics: sine-sweep inputs for test cases 1, 2, and 3 (– flightlab and – – our model)

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