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Rotorcraft UAVs

NASA CT Space Grant

Applied Rotary Wing Engineering

Helicopter Workshop

Paul Pounds 22 June 2011

© Paul Pounds 2011

This seminar

Comprises several topics arranged into modules

2-3 minute small-group discussion questions

Brief intermission between modules

Larger break after module 3 4

Demonstration flight later in the afternoon

If things actually work

© Paul Pounds 2011

1. Introduction to UAVs

1. Introduction to UAVs © Paul Pounds 2011

© Paul Pounds 2011

This module

UAVs: what are they?

Definitions, what is/is not a UAV

Unmanned aircraft through the ages

Autonomous aircraft in the 20 th century and beyond

The thinking flying machine

Intelligence and degree of autonomy

© Paul Pounds 2011

Early morning stimulus questions 1

What is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)?

What aircraft are not UAVs? Give examples

Form groups of 2-3 people and yell at them until you all agree

© Paul Pounds 2011

So, what is a UAV?

Generally speaking, a UAV is a robot aircraft

By now you should have a pretty good handle on what an aircraft is

So, what is a UAV? • Generally speaking, a UAV is a robot aircraft – By

But what is a robot?

© Paul Pounds 2011

So, what is a UAV? • Generally speaking, a UAV is a robot aircraft – By

Early morning stimulus questions 2

What is a robot?

What are common features of robots?

Form groups of 2-3 people and yell at them until you all agree

© Paul Pounds 2011

Well, what is a robot then?

A hard question! There are several definitions:

Wikipedia: “A mechanical contraption which can perform tasks on its own, or with guidance.”

Merriam-Webster: “A device that performs complicated often repetitive tasks, guided by automatic controls.”

Me: “A dynamical system that uses knowledge about its environment to perform tasks.”

Bash.org: “It collects data about the surrounding environment, then discards it and drives into walls.”

© Paul Pounds 2011

Well, what is a robot then?

A hard question! There are several definitions:

Wikipedia: “A mechanical contraption which can perform tasks on its own, or with guidance.”

Merriam-Webster: “A device that performs complicated often repetitive tasks, guided by automatic controls.”

Me: “A dynamical system that uses knowledge about its environment to perform tasks.”

Bash.org: “It collects data about the surrounding environment, then discards it and drives into walls.”

© Paul Pounds 2011

Well, what is a robot then?

A hard question! There are several definitions:

Wikipedia: “A mechanical contraption which can perform tasks on its own, or with guidance.”

Merriam-Webster: “A device that performs complicated often repetitive tasks, guided by automatic controls.”

Me: “A dynamical system that uses knowledge about its environment to perform tasks.”

Bash.org: “It collects data about the surrounding environment, then discards it and drives into walls.”

© Paul Pounds 2011

Well, what is a robot then?

A hard question! There are several definitions:

Wikipedia: “A mechanical contraption which can perform tasks on its own, or with guidance.”

Merriam-Webster: “A device that performs complicated often repetitive tasks, guided by automatic controls.”

Me: “A dynamical system that uses knowledge about its environment to perform tasks.”

Bash.org: “It collects data about the surrounding environment, then discards it and drives into walls.”

© Paul Pounds 2011

Well, what is a robot then?

A hard question! There are several definitions:

Wikipedia: “A mechanical contraption which can perform tasks on its own, or with guidance.”

Merriam-Webster: “A device that performs complicated often repetitive tasks, guided by automatic controls.”

Me: “A dynamical system that uses knowledge about its environment to perform tasks.”

Bash.org: “It collects data about the surrounding

environment, then discards it and drives into walls.”

© Paul Pounds 2011

Common features of robots

Some things we agree on:

Mechanical system, device, contraption Automatic, guidance, control Environment, surroundings, knowledge Performs tasks Drives into walls

© Paul Pounds 2011

Common features of robots

Common features of robots *Black Horizon, “No one dies in unmanned UAV crash”+ © Paul Pounds

*Black Horizon, “No one dies in unmanned UAV crash”+

© Paul Pounds 2011

So, what about UAVs then?

UAVs necessarily have:

Unmanned: no onboard operator Control: self-regulating flight Perception: sense the environment and react to it Useful functionality: perform tasks

What does this exclude?

© Paul Pounds 2011

What is not a UAV?

Not UAVs:

Aircraft autopilots (human pilot onboard) Passive devices, eg. parachutes (no control) Ballistic rocket (no intelligence) Radio control toys (don’t perform tasks)

The lines are blurry:

What about a cruise missile? An autonomous paraglider soaring on thermals? An airliner that flies the whole trip on auto?

© Paul Pounds 2011

Early morning stimulus questions 3

When was the first UAV made?

What factors have driven UAV development?

Form groups of 2-3 people and yell at them until you all agree

© Paul Pounds 2011

A brief history of UAVs.

© Paul Pounds 2011

In the beginning…

In the beginning… Peter Hewitt [Bain News Service] Elmer Sperry [James Wilson] • 1917: Hewitt-Sperry Automatic

Peter Hewitt [Bain News Service]

In the beginning… Peter Hewitt [Bain News Service] Elmer Sperry [James Wilson] • 1917: Hewitt-Sperry Automatic

Elmer Sperry [James Wilson]

1917: Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Aeroplane

Stabilised using gyroscopes and barometers

Could travel 50 km and drop a sandbag within 3.2 km of a target

…now use it to blow things up

…now use it to blow things up Curtist-Sperry Flying Bomb [valka.com] Kettering Bug [Monash] • Curtis-Sperry

Curtist-Sperry Flying Bomb [valka.com]

…now use it to blow things up Curtist-Sperry Flying Bomb [valka.com] Kettering Bug [Monash] • Curtis-Sperry

Kettering Bug [Monash]

Curtis-Sperry Flying Bomb

First fully-unmanned powered flight of an aircraft Launched from car, preset flying distance of 900 m

Kettering Bug

First production cruise missile 45 built

© Paul Pounds 2011

Interwar

Interwar LARYNX flying bomb [US gov.] Tiger Moth ‘Queen Bee’ *Arpingstone+ • Radio-controlled aircraft predominantly used
Interwar LARYNX flying bomb [US gov.] Tiger Moth ‘Queen Bee’ *Arpingstone+ • Radio-controlled aircraft predominantly used

LARYNX flying bomb [US gov.]

Tiger Moth ‘Queen Bee’ *Arpingstone+

Radio-controlled aircraft predominantly used for target practice Much British innovation:

Fairey-Queen, Queen Bee, Queen Wasp RPV targets (from whence the term drone originates) LARYNX ship-launched ‘aerial torpedo’

© Paul Pounds 2011

WWII: Allies

WWII: Allies Aphrodite drone taking off [USAAF] • Operation Aphrodite: Norma Jean, Radioplane technician [David Conover]

Aphrodite drone taking off [USAAF]

Operation Aphrodite:

WWII: Allies Aphrodite drone taking off [USAAF] • Operation Aphrodite: Norma Jean, Radioplane technician [David Conover]

Norma Jean, Radioplane technician [David Conover]

B-17 and B-24 bombers packed with explosives Takeoff and flight to target by human crew Terminal guidance by radio control, with TV cameras pointed at flight instruments and window

Radioplane target drones and hobby aircraft

© Paul Pounds 2011

WWII: Axis

WWII: Axis Spitfire toppling a V-1 [RAF] Mistel compound aircraft [Catalyst] • Mistel project – fighter-guided

Spitfire toppling a V-1 [RAF]

WWII: Axis Spitfire toppling a V-1 [RAF] Mistel compound aircraft [Catalyst] • Mistel project – fighter-guided

Mistel compound aircraft [Catalyst]

Mistel project fighter-guided bombs

Similar concept to Aphrodite Gyroscopic controls for terminal guidance

Extensive use of V-1 missiles - 23,000 casualties

First effective cruise missile drone

© Paul Pounds 2011

Anatomy of a V-1 Pulsejet engine Fuel tank Warhead Control surface actuators Altitude and gyro controls
Anatomy of a V-1
Pulsejet engine
Fuel tank
Warhead
Control surface actuators
Altitude and gyro controls
Wire-wound compressed air tanks
Gyrocompass, pendulum
Vane odometer
Impact detonator
[USAF]

© Paul Pounds 2011

Post-war: cruise missiles

Post-war: cruise missiles MGM-1 Matador [USAF] SM-62 Snark [US gov.] X-10 [Boeing] • Modern versions of

MGM-1 Matador [USAF]

SM-62 Snark [US gov.]

X-10 [Boeing]

Modern versions of the V-1 concept 1950-1970

MGM-1 Matador: Radio-positioning system SM-62 Snark: Intercontinental range, return to land X-10: Unstable dynamics required active control, used INS for mid-flight course changes

© Paul Pounds 2011

Post-war: reconnaissance drones

D-21 on M-21 [USAF]

Post-war: reconnaissance drones D-21 on M-21 [USAF] 147SK Lightning Bug [Vectorsite] Compass Cope B [NMUSAF] •

147SK Lightning Bug [Vectorsite]

Compass Cope B [NMUSAF]

Gary Powers incident led to increased emphasis on unmanned reconnaissance drones

Focus on autonomous, expendable aircraft Numerous deployments 1964-1975 over China and Vietnam (550+ aircraft lost)

© Paul Pounds 2011

Post-war: Gyrodyne QH-50

Post-war: Gyrodyne QH-50 [Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation] • The first unmanned helicopter - 1959 – Remote

[Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation]

The first unmanned helicopter - 1959

Remote piloted, ship-launched, armed drone Gyroscopic feedback Designed for ASW role nuclear depth bomb Used by the US Navy up to 2006 - 775 built

© Paul Pounds 2011

Modern cruise missiles

Modern cruise missiles BGM-109 Tomahawk [USN] Exocet [Rama] Storm Shadow [Monniaux] • Supersonic or high-subsonic cruise

BGM-109 Tomahawk [USN]

Exocet [Rama]

Storm Shadow [Monniaux]

Supersonic or high-subsonic cruise

Complex waypoint following

Many sensor modalities:

Radar altimeter, barometric altimeter Inertial navigation systems Global position system (when available) Terrain contour matching Visual terminal guidance

Single-use only (~$900,000 per Tomahawk!)

© Paul Pounds 2011

Modern UAVs

Modern UAVs RQ-4 at Edinbrugh [defence.gov.au] X-47B taking off [Densmore] Camcopter S-100 [Aviationweek] Visually guided refueling

RQ-4 at Edinbrugh

[defence.gov.au]

X-47B taking off

[Densmore]

Camcopter S-100 [Aviationweek]

Visually guided refueling [Scott et al, 2007]

More capable than RPVs or cruise missiles:

Autonomous trans-pacific flight (USA to Australia) Autonomous take-off and landing (from carriers!) Autonomous mid-air refueling (tanker and client) Autonomous loiter and tracking (IR, radar, etc) Autonomous weapons delivery (maybe)

© Paul Pounds 2011

Why have robot aircraft come so far?

(Compared to, say, autonomous cars)

UAVs are almost as old as powered flight Technical reasons:

Inherent instability of aircraft made flight control a natural development

Automatic control simplifies automation

Empty skies make the perception problem much easier than for terrestrial vehicles

Political reasons:

Reduce risk to aircrews in a fragile political period Reduce the political cost of strike action

© Paul Pounds 2011

Size doesn’t matter

Size doesn’t matter Mesicopter [Koo et al ] X-4 Flyer [Pounds et al ] MQ-8 Firescout
Size doesn’t matter Mesicopter [Koo et al ] X-4 Flyer [Pounds et al ] MQ-8 Firescout

Mesicopter [Koo et al]

Size doesn’t matter Mesicopter [Koo et al ] X-4 Flyer [Pounds et al ] MQ-8 Firescout
Size doesn’t matter Mesicopter [Koo et al ] X-4 Flyer [Pounds et al ] MQ-8 Firescout

X-4 Flyer [Pounds et al]

Size doesn’t matter Mesicopter [Koo et al ] X-4 Flyer [Pounds et al ] MQ-8 Firescout

MQ-8 Firescout

[USN]

Size doesn’t matter Mesicopter [Koo et al ] X-4 Flyer [Pounds et al ] MQ-8 Firescout
Size doesn’t matter Mesicopter [Koo et al ] X-4 Flyer [Pounds et al ] MQ-8 Firescout
Size doesn’t matter Mesicopter [Koo et al ] X-4 Flyer [Pounds et al ] MQ-8 Firescout

RQ-4 Global Hawk

[USAF]

Size doesn’t matter Mesicopter [Koo et al ] X-4 Flyer [Pounds et al ] MQ-8 Firescout

10mm

100mm

1m

10m

Characteristic aerodynamic length

UAVs span 4 orders of magnitude Radically different flight regimes, flow conditions

But fundamentals of flight and perception remain the same, just capacity for autonomy

© Paul Pounds 2011

The sliding scale of autonomy

The sliding scale of autonomy MIT quadrotor [Roy et al ] Path planning Hal 9000 [Kubrick
The sliding scale of autonomy MIT quadrotor [Roy et al ] Path planning Hal 9000 [Kubrick
The sliding scale of autonomy MIT quadrotor [Roy et al ] Path planning Hal 9000 [Kubrick

MIT quadrotor [Roy et al] Path planning

The sliding scale of autonomy MIT quadrotor [Roy et al ] Path planning Hal 9000 [Kubrick

Hal 9000 [Kubrick et al] Artificial Intelligence

Wright Flyer [Daniels] LEM [NASA] No autonomy Flight stability Takeoff and landing Trajectory regulation Navigation
Wright Flyer [Daniels]
LEM [NASA]
No autonomy
Flight stability
Takeoff and landing
Trajectory regulation
Navigation
The sliding scale of autonomy MIT quadrotor [Roy et al ] Path planning Hal 9000 [Kubrick
The sliding scale of autonomy MIT quadrotor [Roy et al ] Path planning Hal 9000 [Kubrick
The sliding scale of autonomy MIT quadrotor [Roy et al ] Path planning Hal 9000 [Kubrick

Obstacle avoidance

The sliding scale of autonomy MIT quadrotor [Roy et al ] Path planning Hal 9000 [Kubrick

Expert systems

The sliding scale of autonomy MIT quadrotor [Roy et al ] Path planning Hal 9000 [Kubrick

747 [Boeing]

F-117 [USAF]

RQ-1 Predator [fastcompany]

Human pilots [DHS]

There is a spectrum of capabilities traded off between humans and robots

© Paul Pounds 2011

The generic geometric shape of intelligence Cognition Perception Planning Sensing Execution
The generic geometric shape of intelligence
Cognition
Perception
Planning
Sensing
Execution

© Paul Pounds 2011

Where I’m going with this

I’ll touch on each of these areas:

Flight control and trajectory following Sensing and filtering Perception and planning

(Cognition is a Hard AI problem, so I won’t talk about it much)

The state of the art in UAV robotics research

If time permits, I’ll cover these special topics:

Case study: heavy-lift quadrotor design Case study: aerial manipulation

© Paul Pounds 2011

Questions?

Questions? © Paul Pounds 2011

© Paul Pounds 2011

Entr’acte.

© Paul Pounds 2011