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2. Spherical air vehicle




Flight dynamics
Force &moments
Stability and control



9. Advance technology

in spherical drones



An aircraft is a machine that is able to fly by gaining support from
the air, or, in general from the atmosphere of the planet. It
counters the forces of gravity by using either static lift or by using
the dynamic lift from the wing or in some cases a downward
thrust from an engine.
Flying model craft and stories of manned flight go back many
centuries, however the first manned ascent and safe descent
in modern times took place by hot-air balloon in the 18th century.
Each of the two World Wars led to great technical advances.
Consequently the history of aircraft can be divided into five eras:

Pioneers of flight, from the earliest experiments to 1914.

First World War, 1914 to 1918.

Aviation between the World Wars, 1918 to 1939.

Second World War, 1939 to 1945.

Postwar era, also called the jet age, 1945 to the present day.
1.3 Classification of Aircrafts


As the name suggests the lift is produced due to buoyancy which

is an upward force a fluid exerts on an object less dense than
itself in other words it is the property of a fluid to exert an upward
force on a body that is wholly or partly submerged in it.

Balloons: One of most ancient and the

first aircraft that took man high in the air
worked with the concept of buoyancy. A
simple thought that the density of air
changes with temperature brought the
dream of flight to reality.
If hot air can produce lift then why not lighter than air gases.
Gases like hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, neon and others can also
be used to produce lift based on the same principle of buoyancy.
All these gases have lesser density than that of the surrounding
Aerostat: It is a balloon like structure filled with a lighter than air
gas and has large fins in their tail. These are designed to stay
suspended in air without changing its orientation. Tethered to a
point the large fins at the tail end of the aerostat helps it to
withstand the external disturbances caused due to
harsh winds and maintain the same orientation as it
was when deployed. It largely serves as a replacement
for tall military surveillance towers.

Airship: It is similar to aerostat in principle of working but different

in purpose and shape. It has smaller fins that provide adequate
stability and has control surfaces on them. The airship, as the
name suggests, is designed to move in air. It can carry people
(payload), but for the large volume it has, the payload it can carry
is very less. Unlike aerostat it has propellers that can be used to
move in any direction.
All the other forms of aircrafts starting from a paper-plane to big
rockets are classified as heavier-than-air aircrafts. These fall freely
under the effect of gravity. But when given some external forces
they fly under the principle of Bernoulli. The velocity of the wind
flowing over the wing will produce some pressure difference which
will result in an upward force.

2. Spherical air vehicle

What is a Drone?
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS), also known as drones, are
aircraft either controlled by pilots from the ground or
increasingly, autonomously following a pre-programmed
mission. While there are dozens of different types of drones,
they basically fall into two categories: those that are used for
reconnaissance and surveillance purposes and those that are
armed with missiles and bombs.
The use of drones has grown quickly in recent years because
unlike manned aircraft they can stay aloft for many hours
(Zephyr a British drone under development has just broken the
world record by flying for over 82 hours nonstop); they are
much cheaper than military aircraft and they are flown
remotely so there is no danger to the flight crew.

The first is the spherical DRONE which was invented by in Japan.
In October 2011, research engineer, Fumiyuki Sato, working at the
Defense Ministrys Technical Research, presented the worlds first
flying spherical DRONE in a press conference. It runs on a single
propeller motor and hovers like a helicopter. The spherical DRONE
is also claimed to reach speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour
when transiting into translation flight. Costing about US$1,400,
the latest prototype was made merely from parts bought from a
local consumer electronics store in Japan.
The airframe is the crucial part here and it looks very stable and
robust. Other payloads or navigation/autopilot systems could be
embedded and the concept can be scaled-up or down.
The spherical shape has a crucial advantage over the cylindrical
shape of a ducted fan, or a dome shaped Coanda-effect flying
saucer. A sphere is very robust; the exoskeleton protects the
propeller and all the crucial parts. Most importantly it can regain
its posture. However clumsy a landing or an in-flight bump may
be, it will always be ready to take off or remain stable.
By using the white cover it is a simple white ball and many of
them can be stuck together in a container. They could even
airdropped in large numbers without risk of colliding one over the
other and interlock propellers. As demonstrated, the flying ball
can be released from its cover by blowing out the cover by itself.


Generally when we talk about the lift generation in flying

objects we will discuss Bernoullis principal and same in
the spherical air vehicle also.
Along with the Bernoullis principal, one must have the
knowledge of propeller slipstream theory
How the lift is generated in the spherical air vehicle?
Assuming Conservation of Energy, where no loss of kinetic
energy is experienced within the control volume,
Apply Bernoullis principle


Typically, for a fixed wing aircraft, the pitch, roll and yaw
motions, in the 3 axes, are controlled by three different sets
of control surfaces elevator, aileron and rudder
respectively. However, for the spherical DRONE, the motions
can be simplified to 2 axes. This will be further explained in
the following sub-section.

4.1 Yaw
The yaw motion is controlled by two sets of rudders which
have been programmed to move
concurrently when the signal is
received. The torque effect from
the counter-clockwise motion of
the propeller causes the body of
the DRONE to rotate anticlockwise (about the Z-axis),
causing the DRONE to yaw. In
order to counter the inherent yaw
motion due to the moving
propellers, the rudders must be activated at an angle at its
default trim position.

4.2 Pitch

The pitch motion (about the Y-axis) is controlled by two out

of four flaps and four rudders,
which have been programmed to
activate in a specific orientation to
cause the motion, as shown. With
the Center of Gravity (CG) on the
midline of the DRONE, the top two
flaps move in opposite directions to
the bottom rudders to create a
torqueing effect, thereby allowing
the DRONE to pitch in the desired

4. 3Roll
Since the DRONE is symmetrically
constructed in each quadrant, the
roll motion is similar to the pitch
motion, but the coupling moment is
about the X-axis. The pitch and roll
motions are essentially describing
the same movements. Therefore,
the control surfaces one of it will tilt
downward and other upward this
motion will roll right side as shown in fig. To roll left viceversa.

5Forces and moments

This chapter will explain the response of the control surfaces on
the theoretically, using forces and moments. The following are the
assumptions made:
1) The axial direction of flow of Ve is always parallel to the
symmetrical axis of the DRONE body, and the normal velocity, Vn,
is negligible because Ve>>Vn.
2) The direction of airflow is smooth and uniform and is vertically
downwards in the -Z-direction.
3) The control surfaces are completely submerged in the induced
exit airflow, Ve.

5.1 Hover flight

During hover flight, the velocity of airflow on the control surfaces
is the induced exit velocity of the air produced by the propeller,
Ve, because Ve>> V0.
During hover flight, there is an inherent yaw motion as mentioned
in Section 3.1.). Therefore, all rudders must be in the orientation
shown above at neutral position to counter the clockwise rotation
of the body.

5.2. Translational Flight

During hover flight, the velocity of airflow on the control surfaces
is the induced exit velocity of the air produced by the propeller,
Ve, because Ve>> V0.
During translational flight, the must first pitch as shown in the
orientation above. When the pitching moment reaches
equilibrium, the DRONE will translate in the resultant direction.


From left picture in Fig, the achieved hover flight first,

Flap optimization
The objective of the flap
optimization is to find
the suitable chord length
to provide the highest
lift-to-drag ratio.
Example: For a fixed
spherical UAV diameter
maximum chord length
of the flap is 58.5mm. The velocity of airflow, Ve, just below the
propeller, is taken to be 13.2m/s at throttle setting of 50%, which


is the approximated cruising speed. The above fig shows the

dimension of the given specifications.

6. Stability and Control

The stablity of an flying object means its ability to return to some
particular condition of flight(after having been slightly disturbed
from that condition)with out any efforts on the part of the
pilot.drone may stable under some conditions of flight and
unstable under other conditions.
When we consider for the flying object the stability is considered
as follows

Longitudinal stability:
The stability or control of a drone pitching about the lateral axis is
called longitudinal stability or control.
Longitudinal stability refers to the drones ability to return to its
equilibrium due the pitching motion. The first test was to
investigate the time taken for the drone to return to its trim
position at 0degreeafter the drone has been manually displaced
by the pilot. This was done by deflecting the relevant control
surfaces of the drone to bring it to approximately 45degree pitch
angle, and holding it for approximately 2.8 seconds before
releasing the control stick to allow the drone to return to
equilibrium. An interval of 5 seconds was given between the
activation of the control surfaces.

Lateral stability:
Stability or control which concerns rolling about the
longitudinal axis is called as the lateral stability.
Directional stability:

Stability or control which concerns yawing about the

normal axis is called directional stability.
Directional stability refers to the drones ability to return to
equilibrium due to the yawing motion. However, unlike the
pitching motion, the drone is unable to return to 0degree or its
original position. This is because the drone does not have a
Heading Sensor, thus when the flight control board senses that
the yaw motion of drone comes to a standstill, it will stop sending
signals to the rudders to compensate the yaw motion.
The experiment was carried out by deflecting the rudders to
cause the drone to move approximately 180o from its starting
position, before releasing the control stick to allow the drone to
return to equilibrium. An interval of 5 seconds was given between
the activation of the rudders in opposite directions, causing the
drone to yaw in counter clockwise and clockwise directions during
each interval.

7. Materials


Ease of
Very easy

Strength to
weight ratio

Very easy
Balsa wood
Carbon fiber
There are various considerations that had to be made when
selecting the most appropriate material to manufacture the
struts, which will experience the highest impact loads.
Since the objective of the project is to keep costs low, costs was
the highest priority and thus coroplastic was selected over

plywood, which have the good strength-to-weight ratio suitable

for us.
Due to time constraint, the time taken for the construction was
the next on the priority list. Coroplastic is the easiest choice of
material to work with as it can be cut easily with simple tools
pen-knife or foam cutter. Therefore, it was selected over all the
other materials.

8.1 Motors
There are two kinds of motor that are used in the RC hobby,
brushed and brushless motors. Brushless are the most common
and used most of the time in RC. Brushed motors are used in
electric drills, grinders and pretty much everything that you use in
your day-to-day life. They pretty much extinct in RC hobby as they
are heavy and inefficient.
Brushed motors are powered by DC, which means they have two
wires and can be directly connected to the battery to spin. The
way they work is, they have a coil of wire that spins inside a can
lined with permanent magnets. Brushes are used to alternate the
current transferred to the coil, hence making them to rotate in the
magnetic field created by the permanent magnet. Since they use
the brush they are called as brushed motors. This is very
inefficient and waste a lot of power. Also brushed motors
generally have more torque and not very much speed of rotation.
On the other hand brushless motors are powered by AC and has
three wires coming out from them. A brushless motor has a
stationary coil of wire with the magnet spinning around them(in
the case of an out-runner) and because it is powered by
alternation current, the coils of wires can draw the magnets

across the distance in micro-seconds, hence making them rotate

a lot faster and more efficient than brushed motors.
There are several numbers to classify a motor by its size and
rotational speed. The first set of numbers will be a two two-digit
numbers that will be separated by a dash, for example 28-36.
These numbers correlate to the dimensions of the motor casing.
The first number is the diameter of the motor and the second
number is the height of the can (all measurements in mm).
The second number you have is the kV rating which stands for
RPMs per volt. Say if you have a 1800 kV motor, running with a
12V battery, then the maximum speed at which the motor will
rotate is at 1800 X 12 = 21,600 rpm.
Something else you will find when looking for motors is the
suggested prop size. This is the propeller that the manufacturer
recommends to use with that motor, which would give you a
specific amount of thrust.
Before we go any further, it is important to know how important a
propeller is to an RC scratch build. They are so important because
they are the starting point from which you choose your
When you have an idea how big your plane is, then you have to
pick a proportionate prop to go with it. It means that you dont
want to pick a 12 prop for a plane with 20 wing span and you
equally dont want a 4 prop for a 6 wing span plane for obvious
reasons. Once you select your prop, you can choose the motor to
go with it.
The propellers are numbered with a series of numbers to explain
their specs. For example a propeller can be labelled with 8 X 3.8.
The first number is going to be a one to two-digit whole number,
which is the diameter of the prop in inches. The second number is
also going to be a one to two-digit number, but it is most likely to
have a decimal place after it. This is the pitch of the propeller. The
pitch is measured by how many inches the propeller would move
forward in one revolution under perfect circumstances. So an 8 X


3.8 prop will have an 8 inch diameter and moves forward 3.8
inches in one revolution.
Another thing that you will see when you are looking for a
propeller is a puller and a pusher propeller. Now this simply
means counter-clockwise or clockwise rotation of the prop to
produce thrust. It doesnt matter which one you get, because the
motors rotation can be reversed about which you will know more
when we discuss how to connect the electronics.
Even though there are many combinations of prop diameters and
their pitch, there are only two main types. These are the small
diameter high pitch props and the large diameter low pitch
propellers. Even though both of these can produce about the
same amount of thrust, each one has very different
Large diameter shallow pitch props:
Because they are big they are hard to spin hence they are paired
with motors with low kV rating since they have a higher torque
that can spin the large prop. Also since they have a large surface,
they can produce large thrust at low rotational speeds. This also
means that a large prop can grab the air and pull the aircraft
8.1.1 Limitations:
Good for only slow flying aircrafts. This is because, at high rpm
the propeller will create a disc in front of the plane that will
counter the thrust produced. This means that planes with these
props has limited speed and can only go so fast under their own
power, just like a bike in its first gear.
Small diameter high pitch props:
Because they are small they can be spun with less power, hence
paired with high kV motors. Small props are very good at speed.
Think of it as the higher gears of a bicycle.
They have little static thrust, which means if you keep them
stationary and spurn it up they will produce little force when
compare to large propellers because of the low surface area.

Hence they are a bit hard to hand launch, but once they are in the
air they compound the fast moving air around them and move
forward and the only limiting factor on how fast they can move is
how fast they can be spun.
Both these props can be powered by motors of the same size but
what happens when you have a large diameter and a steep pitch.
Well, then you have a large motor that can produce much more
thrust. Similarly, if you have a small diameter shallow pitch prop,
then you have a small motor for a very small plane.
Finally, the amps rating. Amperes is the measure of electricity
that you put into something. With differences in kV, size and prop
specs the current drawn by a prop and motor combination can
vary dramatically. This amps rating for a particular motor prop
combination will be specifies in the datasheet by the
manufacturer. But in general the higher the amp rating the
shorter the endurance of the flight as it draws a lot of power from
your battery. This amp rating will help you choose your Electronic
Speed Controller (ESC).
8.2 Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)
These convert DC power coming from the battery to AC power
going to the motor. They also control the amount of current
passing to the motor. Because there is lot of power going through
them, ESCs do get hot. That is why it is important to have a little
airflow inside your airplane.
There are several wires in an ESC. The three wires from one side
go to the three from the motor. On the other side there are two
main wires on the other side. These connect to the positive and
negative of your battery. And then you have the servo lead which
goes to the receiver and gives it power and also allows you to
control the motor. Once you have a particular amps the motor
prop combination draws then you can choose your ESC to go with
it. For instance, if a motor prop combination draws 25 amps, you

wouldnt want to choose a 20 amps ESC cause then the motor

would pull so much power through it and the ESC would get over
heated and burn. You also wouldnt want to choose a 25 amps
ESC, as there is a margin of error with these motors. The prop test
done by a manufacturer were done on a work-bench but an actual
motor prop is going to work out in the open, moving faster
drawing more power. For this reason it is recommended to use a
30 amps to 35 amps ESC. So try to choose an ESC that is 5 to 10
amps higher than what is required by a motor prop combination.
Another thing that the ESCs do is supply power to your recievers
and servos on your plane. They do this with something called a
BEC. The reason why ESCs have them is because back when gas
RC planes were the only thing out there, you had a battery that
powered your receiver and servos and then the fuel would power
the motor. But when the electric planes started to come into the
picture, they had one battery to power the receiver and another
to power the motor. Well this was heavy and the Battery
Elimination Circuit (BEC) came into existence. So all they do is
convert the high voltage coming from the battery to a constant
5V supply that goes to the receiver, supplying power to the

8.3 Lithium Polymer (Li-Po) Battery:

These power RC models, so obviously they are very important.
There are several numbers that classify a Li-Po battery, the milli
amp hours (mAh), the c-rating and the cells of the battery. The
mAh rating is how much power can be stored in the battery in
relation to time. So theoretically a 2200mAh battery running at
about 1100 mA will run for about 2 hours. Of course an RC aircraft
will draw much more power than in this example.
The c-rating or capacitance rating is the measure of how much
power can be dumped into something per unit time. Say, if we

have a 20c battery that is not going to dump that much energy to
support a powerful motor. To power a high kV motor you will need
a 30 to 35c battery. Any less, the motor will be less responsive
and will take a while to update. Powering a motor with less kV, 15
to 20c would suffice.
Finally the s-rating, which is how many cells a battery has. All
batteries are made of cells and Li-Po are no different. An
individual Li-Po cell has a base voltage of 3.9V and a fully charged
voltage of 4.2V. So by using this it is easy to figure out the rest of
the voltages for your battery. Say, if you have a 3s battery, which
is most common Li-Po you will find cause their standard voltage is
around 12V, has a base voltage of 3 X 3.9 = 11.1V and a max
voltage of 3 X 4.2 = 12.6V. Apart from planes 3s batteries can be
used in transmitters and other electronics that dont fly.
There are also 2s batteries which can be connected directly to
some receivers and to power other electronics. 1s batteries are
used for micro planes. 4s batteries are used for speed planes and
the cells of the battery can move up to 12 or more or anywhere in
between. Because of the different combinations between the
mAh, c-rating and the number of cells, Li-Po are available in tons
of different shapes and sizes.
The Li-Po batteries are the heaviest part of an airplane, so it is
used to balance the plane. Say, the balance point on your plane is
slightly back, then probably you can move your battery slightly
forward to balance out your plane. Normally you dont want to
add weight to your plane, you just have to move the battery to
get a proper balance.
There are two sets of wires in the battery. The first is the main
wire, these are two large diameter red and black wires and they
go to a connector. Never let these two contacts touch, if they do,
it will damage the battery. And then you have the balance plug.
For a 3 cell battery we have 4 wires coming out of it. It depends
on how many cells you have in your battery. This is just a direct


connection to the individual cells of a battery. The balance plug

when plugged into a charger will balance or charge individual
cells, so that the battery can maintain an equal voltage which will
result in the increase in the battery life.
When your battery is drained, you will need to charge them. The
charger that we recommend is a TurnigyAccucell 6 programmable
charger. It has a lot of built in safety features. If you have any LiPo we recommend that you use a programmable charger. Now
why are we even talking about the safety of these batteries? It is
because some have been known to explode, this only because of
the misuse of the batteries. But if you follow a few simple steps,
you can prevent any mishaps from happening.
Polarity: Always know your polarity. If the wires get switched
in a Li-Po battery, it might malfunction and the battery
might explode. This is one of the only ways you can make a
Li-Po battery explode, except for physically damaging the
cells. Programmable chargers will detect that the polarity is
wrong and will not give any power.
Charge Rate: Never charge too fast. If you are charging at a
c-ration higher than the battery is actually rated for, then
you can damage the battery. Some batteries can be charged
at 2c but it is always safe to charge you battery at 1c.
Getting on to the field faster is not worth the risk.
Supervise Charge: Watchyour batteries while they are
charging. Occasionally touch them and make sure they are
not warm, if they are, disconnect them immediately. When
you are flying never drain the battery all the way down.
When your ESC starts to slow down, it is regulating input
trying to warn you that the battery is running low. Land the
plane. If you drain the battery all the way down to zero
percent, it will damage the battery and the individual cells
start to puff up. If you happen to drain the battery all the
way down, put it on to the charger immediately. This will
help to save it.

Storage: once you have charged your battery, put it in a

safe climate controlled area which you can monitor.
Occasionally check on them to make sure that they are ok.
So far we have talked about how to give thrust to your plane. Now
a plane that cannot be controlled is good for nothing, we need
something called as servo motors to control your control surfaces
which in turn will move your plane.

Servos are made up of small brushed motors, and a
potentiometer and a couple of gears. The potentiometer regulates
the movement of the motor and allows the servo to move exact
amount of degrees. A servo can rotate a 180 degrees
mechanically. But under its own power it can only move 90
degrees. If you take out the pot and fixed resistor then you have a
continuously rotating servo.
There are two main types of servos, analog and digital. They are
both the same with the physical parts, except for the digital servo
has a microprocessor that takes input from the receiver. This
allows them to be more accurate and faster. Because of this they
do take up a higher power, however, it is not going to be very
Next set of classification is if the servo is either metal or nylon
geared. Obviously metal gear servos are a lot durable and a lot
Next classification is the weight. A 9g servos are the most
common as they are used in foam airplanes. There are also other
types of servos that are characterized by weight and size. 9g are
considered to be micro servos. There are also sub-micro and


standard size servos. There are couple of other servos but you
probably only deal with micro servos in foam modelling.
Voltage is also a factor. Most servos run on a 3V to 5V. Some high
voltage servos run on 9.4V or a 2s Li-Po pack, and these are for
larger planes that require more torque. But you really shouldnt
worry about the torque case in a foam plane any small motor will
be able to push and pull the control surface. And metal geared
servos will be good for any application.
8.5 Linkages:
There are a couple of thing you need for this, a servo arm, a
pushrod and a control arm. Servo arm goes on the servo, control
horn on the control surface and the pushrod spans the gap
between these two surfaces and allows the servo to push and pull
the control surface. There are different types of attachment
methods for the control horn and the servo arm sides. The Zbend, which is the simplest and requires no extra hardware, the Lbend which requires an extra piece of snap on to lock it in place,
the clevis and the screw lock. These can be combined in either
side of the push rod to hold it in place.
If you connect this pushrod to the top most hole of the servo arm
and the bottom most hole of the control surface, then you will
have maximum deflection of the control surface with low
resolution. The other way round will give you low deflection and
high resolution.
Servos can be mounted flat on the surface with their arms facing
away from the surface. They can also be embedded on a surface
with the servo arm parallel to the surface. You can mechanically
reverse a servo by flipping the servo or changing out the linkage
of the arm. You can also do it electronically by changing the
polarity of the servo.
None of these are going to work unless you tell them what to do.
Thats why you need a transmitter.


All basic radios will have at least 4 channels- the throttle, the
elevator, the aileron and the rudder channels. A basic aircraft
need only three channels-elevator, throttle and aileron- to control
Anything after that are accessories such as a gear switch a flap
switch and a couple of other ones. Other radios channels go from
6, 9, 10, 11 and 12 channel. The gear and the flap switch need
not necessarily be used for landing gear and flaps alone. They can
either be used for bomb drops or air brakes. Its up to you to
decide what to use it for. And those are very expensive radios for
very expensive planes that do a lot of things.
Radios operate on different frequencies and widely used and fairly
new one is the 2.4 GHz radio. They have short black antenna and
its easily available everywhere in the market today. 2.4 GHz is
more reliable and more people can fly at the same time with it.
Dual rate: this is having multiple settings for the distance of
movement for your control surfaces.
Well the transmitter doesnt do any good if you cant talk to the
plane. Thats the job of the receiver.
These take the signal from the transistor. The ports on the
receiver corresponds to those on the transmitter. But which
channel corresponds to which control can be easily remembered if
you remember Aerotrix.



channel 1
channel 2



channel 3

channel 4

On a 6-channel transmitter, the basic four remain the same but
the others can be used to do some extra things. The number of
channels the receiver has does not have to be same as that of the
transmitter and vise-versa. As long as they are of the same
brands the number of channels on the receiver and transmitter
doesnt matter much. The only thing that will happen is the extra
channels just wont be used.
If the receiver has to read what your transmitter says then first
you have to bind them. Receivers get their power from the BEC
from in the ESC. The ESC is connected to the third channel where
we control the throttle of the aircraft.
The servo leads are connected to the receiver with the signal
cable facing upwards where the text is. The signal wire on the
connector will be either yellow or white. The middle wire is always
power so its red and the bottom wires are black or brown and
they act as ground.
While placing your receiver in the plane you first keep the
antennas straight, this will make sure you have proper signal
going on to the receiver. You can mount the receiver on the top or
on the bottom or any other place in the aircraft as long as it is in
line with the plane. Please dont place your receiver close to the
ESC cause the ESC sometimes sends out signals that can interfere
with the receiver. For park flyers this isnt very important, but its
always good to be safe.


9. Advance technologyin spherical air vehicle (Ball

To make this project into some advance and autonomous we
need to include some new technologies like
Flight control board;
KK2 board;
Camera system.
Flight control board:
The flight control board is a 3-axis stabilization module that
enables the craft to stabilize itself and react to sudden
disturbances. It also allows the control surfaces to work in a
combination of different movements that will allow the aircraft
to move in the desired direction. The board has to be loaded
with software in order for it to work and subsequently
programmed and fine-tuned to allow for stable flight.
Ardupilot mega-1 board:
The Ardupilot Mega 1 series of control boards consists of two
halves, namely the Arduinobased
ATMega2560 chip (in red) and the
inertia measuring unit (IMU)
shield (in blue) that measures
barometric height and Global
location. It comes as a kit and must be assembled though
soldering. The picture below shows a fully soldered board which
will be joined together by the header pins to produce the final
product. Measuring 84 x 40 x18 mm and weighing 50 grams, it
is rather bulky and heavy relative to the requirements of the


The ArduPilot is
through the
Planner software. Through it, the user can adjust the various
parameters and settings on the APM 1. However, there is limited
customizability for unconventional UAV setups such as the
Spherical UAV with a combination of number of Servos used.
Therefore, additional mixer circuits had to be used

The motors speed is controlled independently by the pilot

through the electronic speed controller. This is connected directly
to the battery for power.
The Ardupilot senses 3-axis of motion; namely, pitch, roll and yaw.
It is powered through the Receiver that receives power from the
Battery Eliminator Circuit, which is connected in parallel to the
ESC. The Ardupilot will be able to receive pitch, roll, and yaw
commands from the receiver. It will also be able to output three

individual commands to the servos to control pitch, roll and yaw.

However, the 6 servos work in a combination of movements and it
is only able to output three separate command-outputs though
three sets of output pins. Therefore, Y-mixers are needed to assist
in receiving two signals and permuting them out to two servos.
Three sets of Y-mixers are used to give a total number of servos
the ability to receiver pitch, roll and yaw commands. The last two
servos are wired in parallel to receive just the pitch and roll
command respectively.
Although the servos move in the correct direction as commanded
by the pilot, and the Ardupilot moves the servos in the correct
direction to auto stabilize the UAV, the short coming of this set up
is that the servos receive double the signal value from both the
Ardupilot and the Y-mixers. This causes the servos to over correct
and thus the control
This is the technology used in Japanese drone.
KK2 Board:
The KK2 Board was designed by Mr. Rolf R
Bakka, a software engineer and remote
control hobbyist. The goal was to produce
board which would allow the user to
customise the various settings without
the use of a computer, but through the
inbuilt LCD screen and buttons. It was
produced by HexTronik and launched in June 2012. It is powered
with an ATMega324 PA chip and can sense 3 axes of rotation and
acceleration. It weighs only 22 grams but however, it does not
come with an option for GPS or barometer sensing


Circuit using KK 2 Board:

Similar to the Ardupilot board, the KK2 board also senses pitch,
roll, and yaw orientation. However, it has the ability to be
customized such that each servo connected to an output pin will
be able to react to a combination or pitch, roll, and/or yaw signals,
depending on the mix that has been programmed into the
The KK2 receives signals from the receiver and sends the
appropriate pitch, roll, and yaw commands to the appropriate
servos. The KK2 board would also send correcting output-signals
that would self-right the UAV after proper tuning.
This is the technology used in the Japanese drone.
Camera system:
To make the project more robust we can include a camera system
which can be used for surveillance and reconsainces etc

For this type of project we must use wireless camera.

On the aboard, the wireless camera and the 1 cell Li-Po battery
are connected. The camera has an inbuilt transmitter that sends
the video signals to the receiver. On the ground, the receiver
receives the signal and it is recorded and displayed in real time on
the digital video recorder. The portable power bank will supply 5 V
power to the receiver while the digital video recorder has its own
inbuilt battery.
The DVR has its own 5.8GHz receiver but was limited to 20 meters
range. With the addition of the RC305 extended receiver (in
silver), the range was been improved significantly to 100 m.
Specifications of camera system used in Japanese drone
Weight: 8 grams
Dimensions: 38 x 10 x 10 mm
Input Voltage: 5.0 8.0 V
View Angle: 55 Degrees
Output Frequency: 5.8 GHz
Weight: 88 grams
Dimensions: 84 x 54 x 17 mm
Internal Battery: 1000mAh Li-Ion
Receiver Frequency: 5.8GHz


Weight: 43 grams
Dimensions: 61 x 52 x 13 mm
Input Voltage: 4.0 8.0 Volts
Normal Operating Range: 100 m
Frequency: 5.8 GHz

Capacity: 6000 mAh

Output Voltage: 5.0 V
Output Current: 1.0 A
Weight: 4 gram
Dimensions: 39 x 7 x 10.5
Capacity: 130 mAh
Voltage: 4.2 V
Weight: 4 gram
Dimensions: 39 x 7 x 10.5 mm







Control systems


PID Control




Brushless DC Motors








KK Copter Board



Power Distribution Board





Copters are one of the most complex flying machines due to versatility and
maneuverability to perform a number of tasks. Classical helicopters are usually equipped with
a main rotor and a tail rotor. However the UAV (Unmanned Air Vehicle) presented in this
paper is known as a quad copter.
Quad rotors are symmetrical vehicles with four equally sized rotors at the end of
four equal length rods. By making use of multiple rotors it allows for greater thrust
and maneuverability. Each of the rotors on the quad-rotor helicopter produces both
thrust and torque. Given that the front and rear motors both rotate counter-clockwise
and the other two rotate clockwise, here reader might get a doubt as why cant all be
rotated in clockwise or anti-clock wise direction? Answer is simple, if all rotors rotate
in same direction they will cause quad copter rotate in that direction due to torque as
shown in figure 2.1 although it provides lift. In order to overcome this two rotors are
rotated in clockwise direction and other two in counter-clockwise direction at same
Note: Direction of arrows in circles indicate rotation of rotor and thick arrow
represents high speed of that particular rotor.

Fig.2.1 Quad Copter Torque right (Yaw right)

Fig.2.2 Quad copter Perfect lift


Fig.2.3 Quad copter Yaw left

Fig.2.4 Quad copter Yaw left

Any flying object has three kinds of motions

1. Yaw
2. Pitch
3. Roll
Yaw:-Rotation of a flying object in its own plane (or) Rotation about Z-axis is known as yaw
Pitch:-Rotation of a flying object perpendicular to its own plane and about X-axis is known
as Pitch.
Roll: - Rotation of flying object perpendicular to its own plane and about Y-axis is known as
We achieve all these motions for quad copter as described below.
Yaw motion is achieved by rotating two clockwise or counter-clockwise rotors at higher speed
than other two. As illustrated in fig.2.3. In fig.2.3 thick arrows indicate that those rotors are
rotating at higher speed compared to remaining. As result quad copter is giving yaw left (i.e.
counter clockwise).


Fig.2.5 Quad copter roll right

Fig.2.6 Quad copter roll right

Roll motion is obtained by rotating one of the two counter-clockwise rotating rotors at high
speed and other at low speed as shown in fig.2.5 and fig.2.6. l

Fig.2.7 Quad copter pitch up

Fig.2.8 Quad copter pitch up


Pitch motion is obtained by rotating one of the two clockwise rotating rotors at high speed and
other at low speed as shown in fig.2.7 and fig.2.8.


Broadly control system is classified into two categories:
1. Open loop Control System
2. Closed loop Control System
We dont use open loop control system in quad copter so we are not much concerned about it.
So what is Closed loop Control System?
In closed-loop control systems the difference between the actual output and the desired output
is fed back to the controller to meet desired system output. Often this difference, known as the
error signal is amplified and fed into the controller. The general structure of a closed-loop
feedback control system is seen in Figure 2.5. A few examples of feedback control systems
are elevators, thermostats, and cruise control in automobiles.

Figure 2.5 Typical Closed Loop Control.

The PID (Proportional Integral and Derivative) control is one of the earliest (1940s)
control techniques implemented. In early days execution of this technique was done on
pneumatic devices followed by vacuum tubes and solid state analog electronics, before
arriving at todays digital microprocessor. It offered a simple control structure and it was
simple to understand and operate.
Quad rotor will use PID control system, which will be tuned to determine optimum
response and settling time, illustrated in fig.2.6.The PID controller equation is a closed-loop

feedback system which will output a control signal u and receive feedback from the sensors.
The controller will calculate the difference between the desired position and current position,
adjusting u accordingly. The equation for a PID controller is as follows:
u=P +I +D


e(t) = ed(t) - ea(t)

Where ed denotes the desired condition, ea the actual condition, and e(t) denotes the actual
difference, error, the two at each individual time step.
A PID controller has proportional, integral and derivative terms that can be represented in
transfer function form as
K(s) = KP +Ki/s+ Kd


Where Kp represents the proportional gain, Ki represents the integral gain, and Kd represents
the derivative gain, respectively. By tuning these PID controller gains, the controller can
provide control actions designed for specific process requirements.

Fig.2.6 Typical PID control logic

The integral term Ki is proportional to both, magnitude of the error and the duration of the
error. It (when added to the proportional term) accelerates the movement of the process
towards the set point and often eliminates the remaining steady-state error that may occur
with a proportional only controller.


The rate of change of the process error is calculated by determining the differential slope of
the error over time (i.e., its first derivative with respect to time). This rate of change in the
error is multiplied by the derivative gain Kd.
Feed-forward control plus feedback control can considerably improve performance over a
simple feedback control done whenever there is a major disturbance affecting the system. In
idyllic situations, feed-forward control can entirely neutralize the effect of the measured
disturbance. Feed-forward control is used along with feedback control as necessary to track
set point changes and to curb unmeasured disturbances that are always present in any real
For quad copter, feed-forward control accounts for the behavioral dynamics of the quad
copter, such as its momentum and motor response time. The integral term determines the
magnitude of the accumulated error by summing the instantaneous error over time. The
integral control equation is:

I= Ki 0te()dt


Note that t is replaced with , which denotes the past time.

The derivative term accounts for the rate at which the error is varying. In addition, by
decreasing the rate of change close to the set point reduces overshoot and increases settling
D = Kd


P = Kp e(t)





Components used in quad rotor are:

Brushless DC motors(BLDC)
Electronic Speed Controllers(ESC)
KK multi copter board
Power Distribution board
2.1. Brushless DC motors:
Before getting into BLDC it is required to know some other concepts like how DC motor
works, how induction motor works, and concept of synchronous motor and finally understand
the concept of BLDC because BLDC is a hybrid motor which involves of concepts of both
AC and DC motors.


Did you ever question yourself how DC motor works? Most of the people thinks that if
dc supply is given to coil placed between two permanent magnets then motor rotates what
people thinks is true to some extent but not completely. Think what else should be there apart
from this coil and permanent magnets to rotate a DC motor. It requires a commutator. If you
feel this term weird dont get worried Ill explain it. In order to understand what commutator
is, first of all we assume DC motor without commutator, two wires of rotor are directly given
to supply as a result of which rotor shown in fig. 3.1 rotates in anti-clockwise direction and
stops as shown in fig. 3.2.

Fig.3.1 DC Supply given to DC Motor without Commutator in position 1

Fig.3.2 DC Supply given to DC Motor without Commutator in position 2

After that it does not rotate because North Pole is attracted by south and South Pole is
attracted by north. Then what to do in order to rotate it? Its simple just interchange +ve and
ve terminals as result of which present South Pole becomes north and vice versa. As a result
of which North Pole is repelled by North Pole and North Pole is attracted by South Pole
which makes it rotate as result of interchanging terminals. This interchanging in DC motors is


done by commutator. So what commutator does is that it converts DC supply to AC in rotor

and this AC is responsible for rotation of motor. In order to know how DC is converted into
AC in DC motor one must goggle or refer some standard Electrical Machines books, because
it is a vast topic.
There are several types of induction motors available but here we are discussing only 3Phase induction motors.
It is termed and 3-phase induction motor because its supply voltage is 3-phase and works
based on electromagnetic induction (emf induced in coil due to change in magnetic flux is
known as magnetic induction ).
In fig.3.3 it is shown how rotating magnetic field is generated is 3-phase induction motor. At
point 1 in fig. 3.3, flux from all poles is in the direction of pole 1 to pole 1A and at point 2 as
supply voltage is changing flux is rotated to direction 3 to 3A and so on. So what happens
when 3-phase supply is given to motor is that flux rotates around the rotor and induces emf in
rotor as a result of which an emf is induced in rotor. This emf counter acts with stator emf and
rotor starts rotating to keep induced emf minimum in rotor (according to Lenzs law).


(Source: )
Fig.3.3 Internal Working of 3-Phase induction motor

SYNCHRONOUS MOTOR:Synchronous motors are those motors which rotate at a fixed speed. Synchronous works
on 3-phase supply as that of Induction motor, but Major difference between synchronous
motor and induction motor is principle of working. Induction motor works on principle of
mutual induction, whereas Synchronous motor works on magnetic locking. So, what is
magnetic locking? It is discussed below.
It is already seen in Induction motor that when 3-phase supply is given to stator it gives
rotating magnetic field. In synchronous motor rotor is a permanent magnet or electromagnet,
this magnet syncs with rotating magnetic field and rotates along with it. Since this magnet
locks with rotating magnetic field and rotates and the speed of magnetic field this principle is
called magnetic locking. In fig.3.4 block diagram of 3-phase synchronous motor is given
below which has a magnet inside it.


Fig.3.4 Block Diagram of Synchronous Machine
BLDC:Broadly Brushless DC motors are classified in to two types:
1. Sensor Brushless DC motors.
2. Sensor less Brushless DC motors.
Here only Later is discussed because in quad copter later is used. BLDC workson3phasesupply (remember it is not 3-phase AC supply) as that of synchronous motor. Here
reader might get a doubt as, why is it called DC motor instead of AC motor? Because this
works as DC motor though it is given 3-phase supply, how? It is discussed below.


(Source: )
Fig. 3.7 Working Brush less DC motor
Working of BLDC is shown in figure 3.7. If all figures in 3.7 it is observed it can be seen that
there is gray strip over RGB lines, this gray strip shows at different time intervals of time
what is voltage at each phase. Common thing that can be seen is at any instant of time only
two phases are conducting.

In fig.3.7 (a) it can be seen that GREEN phase is conducting +ve and BLUE phase is
conducting ve as a result direction of resultant flux is in the direction of black arrow shown.
At another instant of time shown in fig.3.7 (b) RED phase is conducting +ve and BLUE phase
is conducting ve. Now it can be seen that field is rotating with respect to stator as a result
rotor locks with that field and rotates at that speed. But if rotor does not lock with rotating
field motor does not rotate, how to overcome this? So it is required to get position of rotor as
feedback so according to that well be commutating emf across R, G and B wires. As our
motor does not consist of any kind of sensors how can we get feedback? It is seen above that
one of the phase does not conduct at any instant of time i.e. floating phase. Some back emf is
induced in floating phase, based that ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) is going to figure out
position of rotor and gives pulses to other two terminals accordingly.

2.2. Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC):

(Source: )
BLDC motors article it is seen that ESC is going to take feedback from motor and give
pulses accordingly back to motor. In this article components present in ESC and their
functionality is discussed.


Fig. 3.8 Block Diagram of ESC
It can be seen from fig.3.8 that components present in ESC are
1. Controller
2. Driver
3. Inverter
ESC takes reference voltage as input which ranges between 0 to 1V based on change in
reference voltage output of ESC changes as result speed of motor changes.
Controller mostly is a microcontroller which process input by taking feedback from
motor and drives inverter through motor driver accordingly.
Microcontroller generally does not have capability to drive inverter so motor driver is
used to amplify power of microcontroller such that it can drive inverter. If an attempt is made
to drive inverter directly using microcontroller, it gets burned.
It is known that BLDC requires AC supply but we are giving DC supply to ESC so this is
converted into AC by inverter. Frequency of output AC voltage depends upon the input
reference voltage given to ESC.
We are using two types of propeller Pushers and Pullers:


Pushers give thrust when they are rotated in clockwise direction.
Pullers give thrust when they are rotated in anti-clockwise direction.

The board we are using for our Quad rotor is KKCOPTER v5.5. It is having accelerometer
and gyro sensors which are used for stabilization and feedback control. The connections from
ESC and Receiver are given to this board. No direct power supply from battery is given to this
board. The board will be having ATMega 168 microcontroller which will process the inputs and
give the outputs accordingly. The microcontroller here is mounted on the board which we call it
as Surface Mount Technology. It will be having a number of capacitors and resistors which will
actually filter the noise signals and act as filters.
It is having an ISP(In System Programming) header from where you can program the board
using KKMulticopter Flash software. You can see a blue led (LED 1) which will glow once the
programming is done and it will also glow once it starts receiving the signal from the transmitter.


It is having trim pots (potentiometers) for YAW, PITCH and ROLL using which we will
calibrate the quad rotor. The wires from receiver are given to pins where it is written Aileron

in board to channel 1 in receiver, Elevator to channel 2, Throttle to channel 3 and Rudder to

channel 4. The pins from receiver are given to signal pins.
Then the wires from ESC are given to M1 to M4 respectively, the ESC will be having three
wires where the white (or yellow) is the signal pin in it which is always the innermost pin in the



The Microcontroller we will be using is ATMega 168. It is having two ports PB and PD
with 8 pins each and one port PC with 7 pins. It is also having Pulse Width Modulation (PWM)
pins and Analog to Digital Conversion (ADC) pins.

Pin Diagram of ATMega 168:

Its an electromechanical device that measures acceleration forces and tilt angles by using the
MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) technology, where acceleration is the rate of change
of velocity with respect to the time. Acceleration forces may be Static acceleration or Dynamic
acceleration depending upon the way one uses the accelerometer.
Example: ADXL335
Static acceleration is the constant force of gravity and by measuring the amount of it, one can
find out the angle at which the device tilted (with respect to the earth).

Example: Gravity pulling at your feet.

Dynamic acceleration is the dynamic (variable) force of gravity and by measuring the amount of
it, one can analyze the way the device is moving.
Example: Moving Car
Accelerometer works by sensing the changes in the capacitance. If one places two
microstructures next to each other, then theyll have a certain capacitance between them. If an
accelerative force moves one of the structures, then the capacitance will change. Adding some
circuitry to convert from capacitance to voltage, and one will get an accelerometer- where the
output voltage can be used to send signals for microcontroller.
There are even other methods like including the use of piezoresistive effect, hot air bubbles, and
Sensitivity is a measure of how much the output of a sensor changes as the change in
input acceleration occurs. Where it is measured in Volts/g
Sensitivity =

V out ,+ 1 gV out ,1 g

Its the smallest detectable acceleration and one can improve it by adding filtering
techniques in the circuit.
The voltage supplied to the input of the accelerometer sensor.


Often represented as a percentage (%) of the supply voltage and this is mainly considered
for the correction due to supply voltage variances between readings
The output of the sensor changes with a change in the input voltage.
Here, the outputs are ratiometric which means that at 0g measurement output is
always at half of the 3.3V output (i.e. 1.65V), -3g is at 0V and 3g is at 3.3V.
Bandwidth is the amount of times/second one can take a reliable acceleration reading. For
small tilt sensing applications, a bandwidth of 50Hz will be required and for vibration
measurement one need to have a bandwidth of several hundred Hz and one can select the
bandwidth of an accelerometer using the capacitors (Cx, Cy, Cz).
Bandwidth Range of 0.5 Hz - 1600 Hz for X and Y axes, and for the Z axis range
of 0.5 Hz to 550 Hz is available.
The XYZ filter capacitors are 0.1F for a 50 Hz bandwidth

Feedback for Control Systems.

Tilt, Tilt Angle, Rotation, Gravity, Acceleration, Vibration factors can be measured
Accelerometer sensors are used in Self-balancing Robots, Model Aeroplane Auto Pilot,
Crash Detection/Airbag Deployment, Tilt-Mode Game Controllers

Apart from accelerometer sensors it is also having Gyro sensors which will sense even the
smallest changes. Gyro sensors, also known as angular rate sensors or angular velocity sensors,
are devices that sense angular velocity. It senses motions which human eye is not capable of
capturing or noticing.


The Gyro sensors will be having a Drive Arm and a Stator and Sensible Arm. When the
sensor senses some acceleration the driver arm tends to move but as it is attached to the stator it
resist the movement of driver arm where in instead sensing arm moves accordingly and the
change in angular velocity is measured and is converted to voltage and is given to the
microcontroller which acts accordingly.


Here the power distribution board is used to give power supply to all the motors equally
because we cannot keep battery to each of the four motors as it is cost effective and also
increases the weight of the quad. So here we will be using a Li-Po battery of specifications
12V, 2200 mAH.


supply to all the motors
each of the four motors
weight of the
2200 mAH.

distribution board is used to give power

equally because we cannot keep battery to
as it is cost effective and also increases the
quad. So here we will be using a Li-Po
specifications 12V,