Next week, the MAVLab will be off to the 10th International Micro Air Vehicle Competition and Conference, which will take place in the beautiful Melbourne from 17 November to 23 November 2018.

We will be presenting a total of 5 papers at the conference, touching on various aspects from the newest developments of our flapping wing vehicle (the Delfly) to our Hybrid-UAV (the Delftacopter), and more. As is tradition, we will naturally also partake in the competitions.

To keep up to date with all the developments at IMAV 2018, you can check out www.imav2018.org or follow their Twitter @IMAV2018.

Here is a sneak-peak of the papers that will be presented:

Wing Sweeping Mechanism for Active Control and Stabilisation of a Flapping Wing MAV
Diana Olejnik, Aadithya Sujit, Matej Karasek, Bart Remes, Guido de Croon
In this study, we investigate strategies of control moments generation in a bio-inspired flapping-wing micro air vehicle. In particular, we propose a method for active control and attitude stabilization by introducing a wing deformation through adjustable wing sweep. An advantage of the proposed mechanism is its lightweight design, which is crucial for small flapping wing MAVs with stringent weight restrictions. For more info on the Delfly project, check www.delfly.nl

Modeling DelftaCopter from Flight Test Data
J. Meulenbeld, C. De Wagter, and B. Remes
The Delftacopter is a tilt-body tailsitter UAV. It takes off like a helicopter, and then tilts forward and flies like a plane. This gives the ability to have vertical take off while also performing long endurance flights, making it capable of performing impressive missions such as the Outback UAV Challenge. An accurate model of its flight conditions can be very useful to improve its control even further. This paper focuses on the comparison and enhancement of two different models.

DelftaCopter Propulsion Optimization from Hover to Fast Forward Flight using Windtunnel Measurements
C. De Wagter, B.D.W. Remes, R. Ruijsink, E. van der Horst, F. van Tienen, D. van Wijngaarden, J. Meulenbeld, K. van Hecke
Enlarging the flight envelope of aircraft has been a goal since the beginning of aviation. But requirements to fly very fast and to hover are conflicting. In this work, two new Delftacopter rotor designs and corresponding motors were tested in an open jet wind tunnel. The resulting system is capable of much faster forward speeds for a small increase in power. For more updates on the Delftacopter project, check www.delftacopter.nl.

Autonomous landing algorithm using a sun position predicting model for extended use of solar powered UAVs
B.P. Duisterhof and G.C.H.E. de Croon
Future UAVs may have to cover large distances for long periods of time in an autonomous fashion. This study investigates how UAVs can select the best landing spot to recharge their solar cells as quickly as possible. To this end, the UAV has an efficient model of the sun’s position during the day, which is combined with a 3D map made of the environment. Different strategies are considered to finally perform tests in a realistic and cluttered environment.

Optical-flow-based Stabilization of Micro Air Vehicles Without Scaling Sensors
T.I. Braber, C. De Wagter, G.C.H.E. de Croon, and R. Babuška
Optical flow is an important visual cue that can be used even on the smallest of drones. In this work, we developed a method so that a quad-rotor could self-stabilize while only relying on optical flow from a single camera, and without the use of scaling parameters such as can be obtained with height sensors. This allowed for very stable flight while only using a single camera, even when faced with disturbances. You can check out the video here, where Titus Braber stress-tests the system.The proposed method facilitates the development of even smaller, autonomous drones.