Thread: Discussion Japanes Ball Drone.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 03:18 AM
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It all depends on what you expect from the plane. If you want it to be self leveling it needs to know where "up" and "down" are at any given time, and you can't do this with a pendulum because the plane will experience all sorts of accelerations in addition to the gravitational pull whenever it is disturbed from level flight. What you can obtain with rate gyros is generally just dampening on one or more axes, which means you will still need a pilot to bring the craft back to level when it has crept to an angle over time. With an inertial platform each acceleration is integrated over time to calculate the current position of the craft (if I got bumped this way and then got bumped this other way I must be here) but again errors do creep in over time, depending on how good the instrumentation is. the best bet is to implement some form of feature tracking on a camera that will recalibrate the inertial platform while it runs, like cruise missiles do when picking up terrain features to adjust their intended trajectory. This is a bit complex to add to a lightweight model. Helicopters, expecially the coaxial ones, do seem to manage to correct their position (within limits) relying only on a pendulum, but even then they will drift from level flight over time. Their configuration though limits the translational speed in a way that makes them self righting through aerodynamic forces.
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