Automatic spin detection and recovery for small aircraft
- Spins are upset maneuvers in which an asymmetric stall over an airplane's wing causes it to enter a steep downward helical trajectory, often with reduced, annulled, or reversed control surface effectiveness. If these occur at low altitude, there might not be enough airspace to recover before colliding with the ground. Historically, this hazard has been addressed by careful aerodynamic design to suppress or minimize spin tendencies, and by flight crew training. Despite major reductions in accident rates, improvements have stagnated in recent decades, requiring new approaches to the problem. This dissertation proposes a software enabled approach, developing algorithms that can detect spins at an early stage and automatically recover with minimal altitude loss. To enable this study, a high angle of attack aerodynamic model of a typical general aviation aircraft is identified from wind tunnel and flight data. Using this model, the minimal altitude optimal control problem is investigated, and a spin recovery controller is designed. In addition, the relation between arrest delay and altitude loss is quantified, showing that altitude loss grows rapidly within the first turn. Motivated by these results, a methodology for designing spin detection schemes using different sensors is proposed. The methodology is applied to the same general aviation aircraft showing that detection at an early stage of the incipient phase is possible, resulting in as much as a fourfold reduction in altitude loss with respect to recovery from one-turn spins by a human pilot. Finally, the spin detection and recovery system is tested on small-scale UAVs, demonstrating the predicted fourfold altitude loss reduction. The results obtained indicate that such a system could help reduce spin-related accident rates by as much as 45%.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Bunge, Roberto A
|Stanford University, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
|Pavone, Marco, 1980-
|Pavone, Marco, 1980-
|Statement of responsibility
|Roberto A. Bunge.
|Submitted to the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2017.
- © 2017 by Roberto Arturo Bunge
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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