Gust Disturbance Analysis of a Micro Quadrotor Helicopter

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Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) are being developed for the envision applications in hostel unban environments where they can provide a tactical advantage to the war fighter. A vehicle at this scale, faces many challenges, this paper aims to provide measures for one of these challenges. MAVs are small, lightweight and highly agile vehicles, but their low mass and inertia cause this class of vehicles to be highly susceptible to gust disturbances. This thesis will focus on building analysis measures to analyze a vehicle's performance when such disturbances are encountered. The study will concentrate on a 70 gram quadrotor using a linear time invariant model extracted from system identification through flight test, as well as bench-top testing. The analyses explored here, will leverage well known linear system tools including gramians and singular value decompositions. The techniques developed are easily extended to any platform and can provide key insight in trade studies when determining platform selection, configuration and layout. The ultimate goal is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of a vehicle amidst gust disturbances.