Flight is a major part of the world today. It provides quick and easy transportation, movesitems and objects across long distances, and connects populations through natural barriers.Today, the airline industry is one of the biggest revenue creators in the world. Major airlinessuch as, American, Emirates, British Airways, and Lufthansa are based all around the world.However, airplanes are what they are due to engineering. They require much thought about whatwill affect the flight and how to counteract any issues that appear during airtime, lift-off, andlanding.
Factors of Flight There are four main forces that affect a plane’s ability to hover and fly. They are: weight,lift, thrust, and drag. Weight is the measurement of gravity’s pull on the aircraft’s mass.
It acts asa downward force, and attempts to keep the aircraft grounded. In order to combat this attraction,airplanes are designed to be light and utilize lift to increase altitude. The opposite force toweight is lift, the force that appears perpendicular to the direction of movement. Lift is createdby differences in air pressure, and is used for the aircraft’s wings to glide upon. The aircraft’swings are designed in a certain way to maximize height.
It is shaped in an airfoil, meaning thatthe top is curved and the bottom is flat. Thrust is the third force of flight. It propels the aircraftforward. Thrust is mainly delivered by engines. Newton’s law dictates that every action has anequal and opposite reaction. Drag is thrust’s natural opposing force. It is caused by friction and air pressure slamming into a surface. Drag is reduced by a plane’s cone-shaped front, piercingand spreading out air resistance.
Drones Drones are essentially miniature, remote-controlled aircraft. They are known as UAV’s,or an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, and UAS’s, Unmanned Aerial System. Drones are used in manysituations, ranging from pleasure to commercial to military. Each industry/branch requires and/orwants a certain type of drone able to fit their needs.
Major companies such as DJI, LockheedMartin, and Boeing have started production in various fields to capture their market. All dronesare made of the same fundamental parts The material of drones must incredibly light, yet durable. Many military drones usecomposite alloys to achieve maximum effectiveness in reducing weight and increasingmaneuverability. Drones are able to be equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and cameras, andcan be controlled remotely from a cockpit or simple controller. Drones can also come in a varietyof shapes and sizes. Drones are usually made in a square-like shape, with propellers on eachcorner; however, large drones such as the Predator can reach up to 30 feet and require runways.Drones are also designed with the idea to stay silent and vibrate minimally.
Two wings usuallyrotate clockwise, while the other two rotate counter-clockwise. A radar in the drone is able to locate obstacles and broadcast it back to the controller. Alldrones possess a gyroscope to maintain stabilization and stay smooth mid-air. The IMU, orinertial measurement unit, is a device that measures the drone’s current acceleration anddeceleration. It also senses changes in stabilization such as rotating or flipping.
Magnetometersare a common sight in many IMU’s; a magnetometer measures the magnetic fields surrounding the object it is placed on. The next part of the CPU is the ESC (Electronic Speed Controllers),which measures the speed of the aircraft and broadcasts it to the remote controller or device. Most modern drones have a mounted camera on them. For example, the Phantom 2Vision+ by DJI has a HD camera and is able to videotape at 1080 pixels per 30 frames or 720pixels per 60 frames. Many commercial drones use 4k to receive the maximum amount ofclarity. The gimbal is a vital part of the drone’s use of a camera.
The gimbal prevents turbulencefrom affecting the video or camera angle and stabilizes it. Recently, the gimbal has been replacedby a much smaller and convenient electronic – the H22 chip, which provides the exact samefunctions while adding 4k and EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization). Sensors in drones prevent collisions with foreign objects. Currently, there are six majordifferent sensors utilized in collision prevention. They are: vision sensors, ultrasonic, infrared,linar, time of flight (ToF), and monocular vision. Each sensor helps add to the internal 3-D mapthat provides the drone with flight plans. Drones also have numerous IFS’s (Intelligent Flight Systems).
DJI’s Phantom currentlyholds the record for the most systems in a drone. They are listed as: