Carnegie Mellon University
System Identification of a Model-Scale Helicopter

Bernard Mettler, Mark Tischler, and Takeo Kanade
tech. report CMU-RI-TR-00-03, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, January, 2000

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Development of a reliable high-performance helicopter-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) requires an accurate and practical model of the vehicle dynamics. This report describes the process and results of the dynamic modeling of a model-scale unmanned helicopter (Yamaha R-50 with 10 ft rotor diameter) using system identification. A complete dynamic model was derived for both hover and cruise flight conditions. In addition to standard helicopter flight characteristics, the model explicitly accounts for the stabilizer bar, which has a strong influence on the flight dynamics and is widely used in model-scale helicopters. The accuracy of the developed model is verified by the comparison between predicted and actual responses from the model and the flight experiments (in both frequency and time domains), and between key identified parameters and their theoretical values. Scaling of the main characteristics of the R-50 model-scale helicopter with respect to those of a UH-1H full-size helicopter was performed to determine how the size influences the flight dynamics of helicopters.

helicopter, unmanned, autonomous, system identification, control

Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Vision and Autonomous Systems Center
Associated Lab(s) / Group(s): Helicopter Lab
Associated Project(s): Autonomous Helicopter

Text Reference
Bernard Mettler, Mark Tischler, and Takeo Kanade, "System Identification of a Model-Scale Helicopter," tech. report CMU-RI-TR-00-03, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, January, 2000

BibTeX Reference
   author = "Bernard Mettler and Mark Tischler and Takeo Kanade",
   title = "System Identification of a Model-Scale Helicopter",
   booktitle = "",
   institution = "Robotics Institute",
   month = "January",
   year = "2000",
   number= "CMU-RI-TR-00-03",
   address= "Pittsburgh, PA",