Development, Production and Testing of a Thruster Interface Board for a VTOL Flying Wing: Hardware and Software
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A group of students with backgrounds within Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Cybernetics, are trying to realize a flying wing as an UAV, with support for VTOL. The previous studies done in relation to this concept, have for the most part been focusing on overcoming the mechanical challenges, as well as laying the foundations for implementing an autopilot for the UAV. The scope of this thesis has been to develop the necessary embedded system in order to realize a variable pitch thruster for the aircraft. Compared to using propellers with a fixed blade pitch, a variable pitch thruster could improve the dynamic performance, and allow an extended flight range for the UAV. A study of the control system suggested for the concept has been performed, and suggested implementations discussed. Overall design criteria for the thruster interface have been defined, based on the chosen implementation. The work presented by the project report, Development, Production and Testing of a Thruster Interface Board for a VTOL Flying Wing - a Pre-study, has been used for developing a flight-ready version of the TIB. A module-based firmware package has been developed for the flight hardware, and a study of implementing a bootloader to ease firmware upgrades, has been conducted. The hardware and firmware have been tested in a full-scale test of a thruster assembly, verifying that the developed thruster interface could be used to realize the variable pitch thruster.