Thursday, September 19, 2013

How Professors Around the World Are Using Quanser’s 2 DOF Helicopter

Quanser’s 2 DOF Helicopter is making significant contributions every day in control labs all around the world. The experiment provides an economical Hardware-in-the-Loop test bed to understand and develop control laws for a vehicle that has the pitch and yaw dynamics representative of a tethered rigid body helicopter, spacecraft or underwater vehicle. 

Quanser's 2 DOF Helicopter is an economical Hardware-in-the-Loop testbed to develop controllers for vehicles that have the dynamics representative of a tethered, rigid body helicopter, spacecraft or underwater vehicle.

The 2 DOF Helicopter works seamlessly within both MATLAB®/ Simulink® or LabVIEW environments and is built to high quality standards, allowing it to stand up to long term use. Given these factors, it’s not surprising that educators and researchers have found it to be an efficient tool for advancing both their teaching and research. 

Here’s a look at how some undergraduates, professors and researchers are using this versatile experiment.

Federal University of Itajuba, Brazil:  Optimal Control Research
Professor Luis Henrique is with the Systems Engineering and Information Technology Institute at Federal University of Itajuba, in Brazil.

His line of research is based on new optimal control approaches using H2 and H infinity synthesis, with a focus on the exploration of new properties which can be reached through state-of-art techniques in multivariable feedback control.

This research has been funded by FAPEMIG, a research agency in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The research team decided an aerospace plant was the best choice for practical testing because these systems are naturally good examples of multivariable feedback control applications.

The setup with the Quanser 2 DOF Helicopter model, along with Quanser’s QUARC® rapid control prototyping software allows the research team to highlight its unique dynamic properties, which are the basis of their practical tests, and evaluate and prove the main results of the new approaches proposed in their major researches. 

As Professor Henrique told us, “the reasons we chose a Quanser solution included, but were not limited to, the following: the high quality of the components used in the model; the open architecture design of the Quanser system which allowed us to integrate the system with commercial scientific software; and the proven reliability of Quanser systems, along with their reputation as solutions for control systems applications.”

Northwestern Polytechnical University, China: Autonomous Aircraft Control Research
A member of Northwestern Polytechnical University’s Department of Control and Information Engineering, Automation School, Professor Li Aijun is focused on control theory research and autonomous aircraft control research. 

Professor Aijun uses the Quanser 2DOF Helicopter to teach controls to his undergraduates, while his graduate students also use it as an experimental test bed. His lab includes two Quanser 2 DOF Helicopters, the QPID hardware-in-the-loop control board, the VoltPAQ-X2 amplifier and Quanser’s QUARC® rapid control prototyping software. Professor Aijun favours the Quanser solution because he and his students find the MATLAB/Simulink –based controller design process easy and intuitive.

Ohio State University, USA: A Video Showing the 2 DOF Helicopter Used in a Student Project
The following is a video produced by Ohio State University students showing a Quanser 2 DOF Helicopter tracking a joystick under LQR+integrator+observer control.
View the video:

To learn more about the Quanser 2 DOF Helicopter, click here

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