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Modelling and simulation of a quadrotor in V-tail configuration (01a Articolo in rivista)

Bellocchio Enrico, Ciarfuglia Thomas A., Crocetti Francesco, Ficola Antonio, Valigi Paolo

Standard quad-rotors are the most common and versatile unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) thanks to their simple control and mechanics. However, the common coplanar rotor configurations are designed for maximising hovering and loitering performances, and not for fast and aggressive manoeuvrings. Since the expanding field of application of micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) requires ever-increasing speed and agility, the question whether there are better configurations for aggressive flight arises. In this work, we address this question by studying the energetics and dynamics of fixed tilted rotor configurations compared to standard quad-rotor. To do so we chose a specific configuration, called V-tail, which is as mechanically simple as the standard X-4 quad-rotor, but has back rotors tilted by a known fixed angle, and developed the dynamical model to test its properties both through software simulation and with actual experiments. Mathematical modelling and field experiments suggest that this configuration is able to achieve better performance in manoeuvring control, while losing some power in hovering owing to less vertical thrust. In addition, these increases in performance are obtained with the same attitude control as the standard quad-rotor, making this configuration very easy to set up.
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