BIO-INSPIRED DISTURBANCE REJECTION WITH OCELLAR AND DISTRIBUTED ACCELERATION SENSING FOR SMALL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS
Humbert, James Sean
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Rapid sensing of body motions is critical to stabilizing a flight vehicle in the presence of exogenous disturbances as well as providing high performance tracking of desired control commands. This bandwidth requirement becomes more stringent as vehicle scale decreases. In many flying insects three simple eyes, known as the ocelli, operate as low latency visual egomotion sensors. Furthermore many flying insects employ distributed networks of acceleration-sensitive sensors to provide information about body egomotion to rapidly detect external forces and torques. In this work, simulation modeling of the ocelli visual system common to flying insects was performed based on physiological and behavioral data. Linear state estimation matrices were derived from the measurement models to form estimates of egomotion states. A fully analog ocellar sensor was designed and constructed based on these models, producing state estimation outputs. These analog state estimate outputs were characterized in the presence of egomotion stimuli. Feedback from the ocellar sensor, with and without complementary input from optic flow sensors, was implemented on a quadrotor to perform stabilization and disturbance rejection. The performance of the closed loop sensor feedback was compared to baseline inertial feedback. A distributed array of digital accelerometers was constructed to sense rapid force and torque measurements. The response of the array to induced motion stimuli was characterized and an automated calibration algorithm was formulated to estimate sensor position and orientation. A linear state estimation matrix was derived from the calibration to directly estimate forces and torques. The force and torque estimates provided by the sensor network were used to augment the quadrotor inner loop controller to improve tracking of desired commands in the presence of exogenous force and torque disturbances with a force-adaptive feedback control.