Control of a Minimally Actuated Biomimetic Vehicle using Quarter-Cycle Wingbeat Modulation


This paper describes a technique, called quarter-cycle constant period frequency modulation, to control the motion of wings on a flapping wing micro-air vehicle. This technique allows control over the wingbeat period and three additional points (the two zero crossings and the reversal of wing direction) within a single wingbeat cycle, allowing modulation of the wing’s velocity to provide direct control over six degrees of freedom of overall vehicle motion. Using a blade element based aerodynamic model, both instantaneous and cycle-averaged forces and moments are analytically computed for a specific type of wingbeat motion that enables nearly decoupled, multi-degrees of freedom control of an aircraft. Wing motion is controlled using oscillators whose frequencies and three additional parameters change once per wingbeat cycle. A control oriented dynamic model of the vehicle is derived, which is based on a cycle-averaged representation of the forces and moments, and control derivatives are calculated. A cycle-averaged control law is designed to provide direct control over six degrees of freedom of the vehicle.

Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics