Performance and Control of Multirotors Formation with Slung Load in an Urban Environment

Amit Weinreb
Work towards MSc degree under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Moshe Idan & Assoc. Prof. Gil Iosilevskii (Technion)
Department of Aerospace Engineering
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

The use of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) has extensively increased during the last decade. Their most common applications are in sport events’ photography, search-and-rescue missions and military reconnaissance. Additional area with potentially rapid growth is the autonomous deliveries. Using small multi-rotor drones to deliver door-to-door has many benefits, ranging from reducing shipping time and costs to high reliability and convenience. The drawback is a relatively small lifting capacity of currently operational multi-rotor UAVs. It can be mitigated, to some extent, by employing a formation of UAVs to the same task.

Designing a control algorithm for a formation of multi-rotor-UAVs carrying a sling load is a challenging task, not only because of the complexity of the formation’s dynamics, but also because of the complexity of the rotors’ aerodynamics. Normally, a simplified aerodynamic model is adopted, in which the forces and moments generated by a rotor are determined solely by its rotational speed. In this study the simplified aerodynamic model is replaced by a realistic one.  It is demonstrated that the commonly used model is inadequate in windy environment, especially in urban areas where wind gradients are large. By exposing a formation of four quad-rotor UAV’s carrying a sling load to turbulent winds, it is shown that a ‘standard’ trajectory tracking guidance with force controller, designed using the simplified model, can crash. An update to the original controller scheme is suggested, to improve the system performance.

The talk will be given in English

Mon, 23-05-2022, 13:30-14:30 (Gathering at 13:00)

Classroom 165, ground floor, Library, Aerospace Eng. &

Light refreshments will be served after the lecture at the lounge

Performance and Control of Multirotors Formation with Slung Load in an Urban Environment