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In-flight Measurements and Validation of Electric Powertrain Models

Farid Saemi, Owen Dunston, Moble Benedict, Texas A&M University
Constandinos M. Mitsingas, Army Research Laboratory

https://doi.org/10.4050/F-0079-2023-18065

Abstract:
Small electric drones are popular vehicles for consumers and researchers. However, literature contains little data on in-flight aerodynamic loads that could validate aerodynamic or electric powertrain design tools. We developed a specially instrumented quadcopter to directly measure and record rotor torque and rotational speed during flight. We used this data to validate powertrain efficiency models for the motor, motor controller, and battery. The validated models predicted the time histories for battery discharge, controller current, and combined motor+controller efficiency within 5%, 20%, and 25% of experimental flight data respectively. The validated models can help engineers explore drone concepts without costly experiments and reduce program development costs. The novel flight data can help researchers validate other models, such as vehicle aerodynamic performance models. The modular instrumentation can help engineers measure analog signals onboard a flying vehicle for other applications, such as the wing loading on a fixed-wing drone.


In-flight Measurements and Validation of Electric Powertrain Models

  • Presented at Forum 79
  • 12 pages
  • SKU # : F-0079-2023-18065
  • Electric VTOL

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In-flight Measurements and Validation of Electric Powertrain Models

Authors / Details:
Farid Saemi, Owen Dunston, Moble Benedict, Texas A&M University
Constandinos M. Mitsingas, Army Research Laboratory