Monocopter

 

Source: http://i.bnet.com/blogs/110814-maple-seed.jpg
Source: http://i.bnet.com/blogs/110814-maple-seed.jpg
Compass readings establish current phase of rotation and adjust flap to create a lift differential and tilt the flight disk
Compass readings establish current phase of rotation and adjust flap to create a lift differential that tilts the flight disk. (Blue corresponds to lift decrease, red to lift increase)

This was an independent project I did in 2012-2013 to build my own  monocopter at home. The project was guided by Craig Stoneking, a Lockheed Martin SAMARAI Monocopter Project leader. Monocopters are a unique type of small drone that uses the dynamic properties of a falling maple seed to generate lift and sustain flight. What makes monocopters appealing is their natural stability, compact size, and durability due to few moving parts.

My final monocopter was 23 inches  long  and able to take off/land, adjust altitude, and translate under remote control. The design and manufacturing process was comprehensive. I had to perform research, create a design, select components, fabricate hardware, design and program avionics systems, and perform many testing and trial runs.

This project not only made me detail oriented and deadline driven, I also had to teach myself many skills I had not encountered before. These included Arduino programming, airfoil selection, circuit building, and in-flight data gathering and actuation systems.

 

 

 

 

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