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High-g quadrocopter training: exploring the limits

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Published on May 5, 2015

High-g quadrocopter training in the Flying Machine Arena at ETH Zurich.

The video shows high-speed steady flight in confined spaces for tethered quadrocopters. Due to the centripetal force exerted by the tether, high-speed trajectories along circles at different orientations in space can be flown. Velocities exceeding 50 km/h and centripetal accelerations of more than 13 g are achieved in steady flight, within a sphere of radius 1.7 m.

The testbed allows the characterization of the flight behavior of quadrocopters at high airspeeds, identifying for example drag characteristics and propeller efficiency. Furthermore, the physical limits of the machine can be identified. The testbed can also be used to safely develop high-speed maneuvers, such as emergency braking.

Note that it is possible to remove the central pole by balancing the forces acting on the strings; this could be then used in performance settings, possibly enhanced by light and sound effects.

* Researchers
Maximilian Schulz, Federico Augugliaro, Robin Ritz, and Raffaello D'Andrea
Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control (IDSC), ETH Zurich, Switzerland - http://www.idsc.ethz.ch

* Video
Federico Augugliaro, Maximilian Schulz

* Location
ETH Zurich, Flying Machine Arena - http://www.flyingmachinearena.org

* Technical details
Frame, motor, and motor controllers: Hummingbird, Ascending Technologies
Propellers: 8’’, flexible, Ascending Technologies
Electronics: PX4 FMU and custom electronics
Infrastructure: Flying Machine Arena

* Acknowledgments
This work is supported by and builds upon prior contributions by numerous collaborators in the Flying Machine Arena project. See http://www.flyingmachinearena.org/people .
This work was partially supported by the Hartmann Müller-Fonds on ETH Research Grant ETH-30 12-1 and by the SNSF (Swiss National Science Foundation).

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