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Published July 1994 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Design and construction of a small ducted fan engine for nonlinear control experiments


This paper describes the design and construction of a small ducted fan engine which is being used for experimental research in robust nonlinear control of high-performance vectored thrust aircraft. The fan consists of a high-efficiency electric motor with a 6-inch diameter blade, capable of generating up to 9 Newtons of thrust. Flaps on the fan allow the thrust to be vectored from side to side and even reversed. The engine is mounted on a three degree of freedom stand which allows horizontal and vertical translation as well as unrestricted pitch angle. We give a detailed description of the design and construction of the fan and its analytical and empirical models. Initial PID controllers for altitude and pitch angle stabilization are included to verify the system model and indicate future avenues of research.

Additional Information

© 1994 IEEE. We would like to thank Matt Tucker, who built the PWM controller board, and Mateo Vasquez, who built the stand. We also received advice, assistance, and encouragement from Bob M'Closkey, Sudipto Sur, and John Doyle.

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