This document is the culmination of research into small unmanned Powered Parachute aerial vehicles. This dissertation serves to provide designers of small systems with an approach to developing a Powered Parachute Unmanned Aerial Vehicle system, guiding them through the basic assumptions, dynamics, and control method. In addition, this dissertation aims to generate a reliable and generalized framework of dynamic design and control methods for autonomous Powered Parachute aircraft. The simulation methods in this paper assist in developing a consistent and robust unmanned system for applying Powered Parachutes as an alternative to multirotor or fixed-wing aircraft.The first chapter serves as a primer on the historical applications of small Unmanned Systems and Powered Parachutes and gives an overview of the requirements for building an autonomous Powered Parachutes; the information within this chapter provides justification background for the second chapter on Powered Parachute dynamics. In the dynamics chapter, equations of motion are derived using engineering first principles. This chapter also discusses alternative methods of improving the control and robustness of the Powered Parachute airframe. The dynamics model is used in all further chapters to develop a generalized control system to operate such a model autonomously. Chapter three of this document focuses on developing simulations from the dynamics described in the previous chapter, laying the groundwork for guidance, navigation, and control algorithms ahead. Chapters four and onwards refine the autonomous control of the Powered Parachute aircraft for real-world scenarios, discussing correction factors and minimizing the errors present in current sensor systems. Chapter five covers the development of an additional adaptive controller which uses a Sigma-Pi Neural network integrated into the final control loop. Chapter six develops advanced control methods for the Powered Parachute airframe, including simulations on a novel proposed thrust vectoring method. Finally, chapter seven discusses results accumulated from testing an experimental prototype.
- Design and Development of an Autonomous Paramotor UAV
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