Parametric Design and Optimization of Multi-Rotor Aerial Vehicles
This work addresses the problem of optimal selection of propulsion components for a multi-rotor aerial vehicle (MRAV), for a given payload, payload capacity, number of rotors, and flight duration. Considering that the main components include motors, propellers, electronic speed controllers (ESC), and batteries, a steady state model is developed for each component using simplified analysis. Based on technical specifications of commercially available batteries, motors and ESCs, component functional parameters identified earlier were expressed as a function of component size, in terms of an equivalent length. Propeller models were developed using available experimental data. Airframe dimensions and total weight were expressed as a function of propeller diameter, number of rotors, and maximum thrust. Using Matlab’s “fmincon” function, a program was developed which calculates the optimal design vector using the total energy consumption and vehicle diameter as objective function. Using the developed program, the influence of the payload and of the number of rotors on the design vector and the MRAV size was studied. The results obtained by the program were compared to existing commercial MRAVs.
KeywordsMulti-rotor aerial vehicle (MRAV) design Parametric design Constrained optimization Energy and size minimization
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