Development and Evaluation of System Level Architecture for Autonomous Mini Helicopter

Pathuri Haritha, C. Venkatesan


Autonomous vehicles have been in development for several years as they can find use in a wide variety of missions such as surveillance, rescue, terrain mapping, etc. Currently, a research on development of an autonomous mini helicopter is under progress at Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Kanpur, India. This research project is mainly focused on developing various sensors and communication units, actuators and integrating them onboard a mini helicopter and interfacing them with ground station which has the developed control logic algorithm to provide autonomous control and navigation capability. The objective of this paper is to give the complete system architecture comprising of ground station, wireless systems for communication and onboard electronics. This paper also explains the RPM control logic algorithm deployed at the ground station unit. The results of autonomous flight of mini helicopter with the developed systems are also discussed in this paper.

Full Text:



Acevedo, J., Arrue, B., Maza, I., and Ollero, A., “Cooperative large area surveillance with a team of aerial mobile robots for long endurance missions”, Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, vol.70, no. 1-4, 2013, pp. 329-345

Johnson, Andrew., Montgomery, James., and Matthies. Larry., “Vision guided landing of an autonomous helicopter in hazardous terrain”, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Spain, 2005.

Suzuki, S., Ishii, T., Yanagisawa, G., Tomita, K., and Yokoyama, Y., “Multi-body Dynamics Modelling of Fixed-Pitch Coaxial Rotor Helicopter”, Journal Of Unmanned System Technology, 1(1), 2013, pp 27-33.

Sureshkumar, V., Cohen, K., “Autonomous Control of a Quadrotor UAV using Fuzzy Logic”, Journal Of Unmanned System Technology, 2(3), 2014, pp 144-155.

Vaitheeswaran, S. M., M. K, Bharath., Kumar, H., Prasad, A., and M, Gokul., “Vision Based Altitude Control for a Trajectory Following Quadrotor Using Position Feedback”, International Journal Of Robotics And Mechatronics. 1(2), 2014, pp 70-73

Imamura, A., Uemura, S., Miwa, M., and Hino, J., “Flight Characteristics of Quad Ducted Fan Helicopter with Thrust Vectoring Nozzles”, Journal Of Unmanned System Technology, 2(1), 2014, pp 54-61

Imamura, A., Urashiri, Y., Miwa, M., and Hino, J., “Flight Characteristics of Quad Rotor Helicopter with Tilting Rotor”, Journal Of Instrumentation, Automation And Systems, 1(2), 2014, pp 56-63.

Imamura, A., Miwa, M., and Hino, J., “Flight characteristics of a Quadrotor Helicopter Using Extra Deflecting Thrusters”, Journal Of Instrumentation, Automation And Systems, 1(2), 2014, pp 64-71

Miwa, M., and Marubashi, S., “Ducted Fan Flying Object with normal and reverse ducted fan units”, International Journal Of Robotics And Mechatronics, 1 (1), 2014, pp 8-15

Wu. C., Qi, J., Song, D., and Han, J., “LP Based Path Planning for Autonomous Landing of An Unmanned Helicopter on A Moving Platform”, Journal Of Unmanned System Technology, 1(1), 2013, pp 7-13

Torno, C., Hintz, C., Carrillo, L.R.G., “ Design and development of a semi-autonomous fixed- wing aircraft with real-time video feed”, International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), Orlando, FL, USA, 2014.

Deng, Z., Ma, C., and Zhu, M., “A Reconfigurable Flight Control System Architecture for small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle”, IEEE International Systems Conference, Vancouver, 2012

Venkatesan, C., Swaroop, B. B., Haritha, P., Gupta, Rahul., “Development of autonomous mini helicopter: challenges faced”, Journal of Aerospace Science and Technologies, Vol.65, 2013, pp 79-93

Puneet Singh Development of Ground station and Onboard Sensors for an Autonomous Mini-Helicopter. Master’s thesis, IIT Kanpur,2012

B.B. Swaroop. Design, Development and Testing of Control Algorithm for Autonomous Hover of a Mini-Helicopter. Master’s thesis, IIT Kanpur, 2012.

Xu, Y., Li, P., Han, B., Ren, Q., “Intelligent rotor speed controller for a mini autonomous helicopter”, Proceedings of the 2006 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Beijing, China, 2006

Micro starin Inc. 3DM-GX1 orientation sensor.

Cookson, J. L., “A method for testing the dynamic accuracy of micro-electro-mechanical systems (mems) magnetic, angular rate, and gravity (marg) sensors for inertial navigation systems (ins) and human motion tracking applications”, Master’s thesis, Naval postgraduate school,Monterey, California, USA, June 2010.

Angel Flores-Abad, Pu Xie, Gabriela Martinez-Arredondo, Ou Ma, “Verification of a special inertial measurement unit using a Quadrotor aircraft”, International Journal of Intelligent unmanned Systems Vol.2 Iss:1, 2014, pp 40-55

Prasad, R. V., Swaroop, B. B., and Venkatesan, C., “Characterization of actuators, sensors and wireless system for autonomous tethered hover of a mini-helicopter”, International Conference on Intelligent Unmanned Systems, Chiba, Japan, October - November 2011

Swaroop, B. B., Haritha, Pathuri., Venkatesan, C., “Flight test of a mini-helicopter in hover”, International Conference on Intelligent Unmanned Systems, Singapore, October 2012



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.