Structural Measurements for Enhanced MAV Flight
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Our sense of touch allows us to feel the forces in our limbs when we walk, swim, or hold our arms out the window of a moving car. We anticipate this sense is key in the locomotion of natural flyers. Inspired by the sense of touch, the overall goal of this research is to develop techniques for the estimation of aerodynamic loads from structural measurements for flight control applications. We submit a general algorithm for the direct estimation of distributed steady loads over bodies from embedded noisy deformation-based measurements. The estimation algorithm is applied to a linearly elastic membrane test problem where three applied distributed loads are estimated using three measurement configurations with various amounts of noise. We demonstrate accurate load estimates with simple sensor configurations, despite noisy measurements. Online real-time aerodynamic load estimates may lead to flight control designs that improve the stability and agility of micro air vehicles.