Wind Tunnel Testing of Micro Air Vehicles at Low Reynolds Numbers 2004-01-3090
This paper documents the development of the capability to test MAVs (Micro Air Vehicles) in the University of Florida’s wind tunnel facility. The main goal of this work was to obtain, with a reliable procedure, good quality experimental data from wind tunnel tests of air vehicles at low Reynolds numbers, in the order of 100,000. An overview of the instrumentation and data analysis techniques will be presented, followed by some samples of results from tests on specific aircraft. A standard aerodynamic characterization test was developed to perform a “quick” System Identification (SID) characterization of an air vehicle. The requirements for those tests were established by the modeling and control portion of the project. The test procedure was aimed to find the main aerodynamic derivatives that will be used to model the aircraft and design the flight control system. Three distinctly different vehicles ranging in size from 60 cm to 15 cm wingspan are discussed.