An Experimental Study of Wind Resistance and Power Consumption in MAVs with a Low-Speed Multi-Fan Wind System

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Abstract

This paper discusses a low-cost, open-source and open-hardware design and performance evaluation of a low-speed, multi-fan wind system dedicated to micro air vehicle (MAV) testing. In addition, a set of experiments with a flapping wing MAV and rotorcraft is presented, demonstrating the capabilities of the system and the properties of these different types of drones in response to various types of wind. We performed two sets of experiments where a MAV is flying into the wake of the fan system, gathering data about states, battery voltage and current. Firstly, we focus on steady wind conditions with wind speeds ranging from 0.5 m S-1 to 3.4 m S-1. During the second set of experiments, we introduce wind gusts, by periodically modulating the wind speed from 1.3 m S−1 to 3.4 m S−1 with wind gust oscillations of 0.5 Hz, 0.25 Hz and 0.125 Hz. The “Flapper” flapping wing MAV requires much larger pitch angles to counter wind than the “CrazyFlie” quadrotor. This is due to the Flapper's larger wing surface. In forward flight, its wings do provide extra lift, considerably reducing the power consumption. In contrast, the CrazyFlie's power consumption stays more constant for different wind speeds. The experiments with the varying wind show a quicker gust response by the CrazyFlie compared with the Flapper drone, but both their responses could be further improved. We expect that the proposed wind gust system will provide a useful tool to the community to achieve such improvements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2022 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2022
EditorsGeorge J. Pappas, Vijay Kumar
Pages2989-2994
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-9681-7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event2022 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 23 May 202227 May 2022
Conference number: 39

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
ISSN (Print)1050-4729

Conference

Conference2022 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
Abbreviated titleICRA 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia
Period23/05/2227/05/22

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