9 Experiments on 3DOF Desktop Helicopters

In this chapter, we will first introduce an experimental apparatus, which consists of four Quanser Inc.'s desktop “helicopters”, and then show how the control concepts and approaches introduced in Chapter 6 are applied to this experimental apparatus. In particular, we will present several laboratory cases and show the experimental results obtained.

9.1 Description of the Experimental Setup

As a case study to illustrate the main control concepts and results presented in this book, an experimental apparatus is set up as a possible laboratory exercise. The so‐called desktop three‐degree‐of‐freedom “helicopters” (3DOF‐Heli) used are shown in Figure 9.1: as can be seen, they are a desktop model of a helicopter rather than a helicopter per se. Four of them serve as a platform for conducting experiments on multiple vehicles.

Before the details of the experimental setup are introduced, one may wonder how representative this laboratory equipment can be. How realistic are they in terms of reflecting real‐world applications? Of course, they are not commercial systems, yet, one may find in the 3DOF‐Heli some resemblances to real‐world applications. It is not difficult to understand where the “helicopter” name comes from when one sees a 3DOF‐Heli “fly” like a real two‐rotor helicopter (which is also called as a tandem rotor helicopter, with one rotor in the front and the other at the back of the vehicle) such as:

  • the Piasecki HRP Rescuer, ...

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