Wing Velocity Control System for Testing Body Motion Control Methods for Flapping Wing MAVs


This work is focused on testing the viability of split-cycle constant-period frequency modulation for controlling a flapping wing micro air vehicle. By varying the velocities of the upstroke and downstroke portions of a flapping wings’ motion, non-zero cycle-averaged drag can be generated. This results in the ability to control the roll and horizontal translation of the vehicle by varying the split-cycle parameter. In this paper, a flapping wing prototype is developed for testing the split-cycle technique. A fuselage, wings, motor control electronics, and motor control software are created to allow wireless control of the motion of the flapping wing vehicle. The complete vehicle is then placed on an air table for experimental testing. The air table provides the lift equal to weight condition and constrains the pitch and yaw degrees of freedom while allowing for roll rotation and horizontal translation. In this way, testing of the degrees of freedom which can be manipulated via split-cycle, namely roll and horizontal translation, can be performed. The air table tests reveal that split-cycle can be used to control these two degrees of freedom.

51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition