Dr Ir. E.J.J. Smeur
Swarm of Hybrid UAVs for the Acquisition of Distributed Measurements
This project is about a swarm of UAVs that can perform measurements in a large area. To cover this area, the drones need quite some range. However, to perform their measurements, they should be able to land anywhere. That is why the choice is made for hybrid UAVs. A hybrid UAV can take off an land vertically (VTOL) like a helicopter and transition into fast forward flight like an airplane.
There are still challenges regarding hybrid UAVs. We work on control strategies for attitude stabilization as well as the guidance and navigation. This way, the hybrid is able to remain stable during hover, forward flight and in between. Furthermore, it is able to estimate the wind speed and compensate for it using a model of the flight dynamics, such that it can track any ground velocity reference.
Finally, the swarm of hybrids should be able to perform measurements. To do this efficiently, the UAVs need to cooperate, but preferably not in a centralized way. The goal is to give each UAV a local behavior, that will result in the desired global behavior.