Robotics and Controls Laboratory

Engineering, United States

Robotics and Controls Laboratory

Engineering, United States
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Orlowski C.T.,University of Michigan | Orlowski C.T.,Robotics and Controls Laboratory | Girard A.R.,University of Michigan | Girard A.R.,Robotics and Controls Laboratory
AIAA Journal | Year: 2011

The derivation of the nonlinear dynamics of flapping wing micro air vehicles is presented. Simulation results investigate differences in the position and orientation of the body due to differing wing masses and aerodynamic modeling choices. The flapping wing micro air vehicle is modeled as a system of three rigid bodies: a body and two wings. The mass of the wings, and their associated mass and inertial effects on the body, are thoroughly analyzed and included. Simulations are compared with previous modeling efforts, which neglected the wings' mass and the associated inertial coupling effects on the body. Simulations show a qualitative consistency for the nonlinear model with wing effects when different aerodynamic models are chosen as inputs. Simulation results show a significant difference in the model behavior when the mass of the wings, initially set at 5.7% of the body mass, is included versus when the mass is neglected. As the mass of the wings is decreased, the simulation results of the model with wing effects approach the results when the standard aircraft model is used. Simulations lead to the conclusion that the mass effects of the wings are important for dynamics, stability, and control analyses.


Orlowski T.,University of Michigan | Orlowski T.,Robotics and Controls Laboratory | Girard A.R.,University of Michigan | Girard A.R.,Robotics and Controls Laboratory
Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics | Year: 2012

The multibody flight dynamics of flapping-wing micro air vehicles are inherently complex. Stability analyses and control algorithms are best applied to equations of motion in first-order form. This paper presents a method for approximating the first-order equations of motion for a flapping-wing micro air vehicle. The first-order equations of motion are derived from a coupled, multibody representation of the system. The first-order equations are analyzed using an approximation method called quarter-cycle averaging. The quarter-cycle averaging method is necessary because the classical averaging techniques are not available. The quarter-cycle approximation method is applied to representations of hovering flight and forward flight. The method enables the calculation of equilibrium points for the averaged system. For both flight regimes, the quarter-cycle approximatio method provides an order of magnitude improvement in accuracy when compared to local averaging. Copyright © 2012 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.

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