Grace Lynch,1 Soumya Sudhakar,1 Anirudha Majumdar,1 Clarence Rowley1
1Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA


ABSTRACT

Commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is projected to have an overall economic impact of 82 billion dollars in the United States by 2025.1 Commercial use of UAVs will bring UAVs in closer proximity to humans, requiring the UAVs to execute avoidance maneuvers to ensure UAV and human safety. One such avoidance maneuver for fixed-wing UAVs is the prop-hang, a ninety-degree rotation from forward flight to hovering in place, which allows the UAV to come to a complete stop when faced with an unavoidable obstacle. Previous researchers in drone obstacle avoidance have executed prop-hang with off-board sensing, but not with the on-board sensing and computation required for wide-ranging commercial applications.2,3 To test the possibility of controlling a UAV in prop-hang with on-board sensing, controls were designed for a Quanser 3 DOF helicopter. Two angles were successfully controlled and the third was stabilized using pole placement and LQR techniques. Results indicate the execution of prophang with on-board sensing is possible; future work includes implementing the maneuver on fixed-wing UAVs.

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