An aircraft and provide information about flight performance and local microclimate

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Verrinder, Robyn en_ZA
dc.contributor.advisor Ginsberg, Samuel en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Johnson, Bruce Edward en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2014-07-31T11:09:11Z
dc.date.available 2014-07-31T11:09:11Z
dc.date.issued 2013 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Johnson, B. 2013. An aircraft and provide information about flight performance and local microclimate. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/5310
dc.description Includes abstract.
dc.description Includes bibliographical references
dc.description.abstract The application of using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to locate thermal updraft currentsis a relatively new topic. It was first proposed in 1998 by John Wharington, and, subsequently, several researchers have developed algorithms to search and exploit thermals. However, few people have physically implemented a system and performed field testing. The aim of this project was to develop a low cost system to be carried on a glider to detect thermals effectively. A system was developed from the ground up and consisted of custom hardware and software that was developed specifically for aircraft. Data fusion was performed to estimate the attitude of the aircraft; this was done using a direction cosine (DCM) based method. Altitude and airspeed data were fused by estimating potential and kinetic energy respectively; thus determining the aircraft’s total energy. This data was then interpreted to locate thermal activity. The system comprised an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), airspeed sensor, barometric altitude sensor, Global Positioning System (GPS), temperature sensor, SD card and a realtime telemetry link. These features allowed the system to determine aircraft position, height, airspeed and air temperature in realtime. A custom-designed radio controlled (RC) glider was constructed from composite materials in addition to a second 3.6 m production glider that was used during flight testing. Sensor calibration was done using a wind tunnel with custom designed apparatus that allowed a complete wing with its pitot tube to be tested in one operation. Flight testing was conducted in the field at several different locations over the course of six months. A total of 25 recorded flights were made during this period. Both thermal soaring and ridge soaring were performed to test the system under varying weather conditions. A telemetry link was developed to transfer data in realtime from the aircraft to a custom ground station. The recorded results were post-processed using Matlab and showed that the system was able to detect thermal updrafts. The sensors used in the system were shown to provide acceptable performance once some calibration had been performed. Sensor noise proved to be problematic, and time was spent alleviating its effects. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Engineering en_ZA
dc.title An aircraft and provide information about flight performance and local microclimate en_ZA
dc.type Master Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment
dc.publisher.department Department of Chemical Engineering en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters
dc.type.qualificationname MSc en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Johnson, B. E. (2013). <i>An aircraft and provide information about flight performance and local microclimate</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment ,Department of Chemical Engineering. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/5310 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Johnson, Bruce Edward. <i>"An aircraft and provide information about flight performance and local microclimate."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment ,Department of Chemical Engineering, 2013. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/5310 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Johnson BE. An aircraft and provide information about flight performance and local microclimate. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment ,Department of Chemical Engineering, 2013 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/5310 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Johnson, Bruce Edward AB - The application of using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to locate thermal updraft currentsis a relatively new topic. It was first proposed in 1998 by John Wharington, and, subsequently, several researchers have developed algorithms to search and exploit thermals. However, few people have physically implemented a system and performed field testing. The aim of this project was to develop a low cost system to be carried on a glider to detect thermals effectively. A system was developed from the ground up and consisted of custom hardware and software that was developed specifically for aircraft. Data fusion was performed to estimate the attitude of the aircraft; this was done using a direction cosine (DCM) based method. Altitude and airspeed data were fused by estimating potential and kinetic energy respectively; thus determining the aircraft’s total energy. This data was then interpreted to locate thermal activity. The system comprised an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), airspeed sensor, barometric altitude sensor, Global Positioning System (GPS), temperature sensor, SD card and a realtime telemetry link. These features allowed the system to determine aircraft position, height, airspeed and air temperature in realtime. A custom-designed radio controlled (RC) glider was constructed from composite materials in addition to a second 3.6 m production glider that was used during flight testing. Sensor calibration was done using a wind tunnel with custom designed apparatus that allowed a complete wing with its pitot tube to be tested in one operation. Flight testing was conducted in the field at several different locations over the course of six months. A total of 25 recorded flights were made during this period. Both thermal soaring and ridge soaring were performed to test the system under varying weather conditions. A telemetry link was developed to transfer data in realtime from the aircraft to a custom ground station. The recorded results were post-processed using Matlab and showed that the system was able to detect thermal updrafts. The sensors used in the system were shown to provide acceptable performance once some calibration had been performed. Sensor noise proved to be problematic, and time was spent alleviating its effects. DA - 2013 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2013 T1 - An aircraft and provide information about flight performance and local microclimate TI - An aircraft and provide information about flight performance and local microclimate UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/5310 ER - en_ZA


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