Date of Award

6-2014

Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering

Department

Aerospace Engineering

Advisor

Robert McDonald

Abstract

A flight data acquisition system was developed to aid unmanned vehicle designers in verifying the vehicle's design performance. The system is reconfigurable and allows the designer to choose the correct combination of complexity, risk, and cost for a given flight test. The designer can also reconfigure the system to meet packaging and integration requirements. System functionality, repeatbility, and accuracy was validated by collecting data during multiple flights of a radio-controlled aircraft. Future work includes sensor fusion, thrust prediction methods, stability and control derivative estimation, and growing Cal Poly's small-scale component aerodynamic database.

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