X.I.A.T: Hover Platform
Current Status: PROTOTYPE
This project is currently only a design, and will remain so until my disposable income returns.
X.I.A.T. (X.I.A.T. is a thesis) is a flying platform.
The design is very simple. Four vertically oriented electric ducted fans support a square platform by its corners. Two spin counter clockwise and two spin clockwise.
If all the fans were spinning in the same direction, the retarding force of the air apon the blades would cause the craft to spin in the opposite direction. By using half in each direction you not only cancel that force out, but you provide the ability to make radial turns. By increasing the power to one set and decreasing power to the other, you can remain level and allow frictional forces to turn the craft.
Translation would be attained by lifting one side of the craft so that the verticle jets would have a horizontal component to their force. The thrust would have to be increased as well during this manuver to remain level. Once velocity is attained, the craft can level to a very near horizontal position where the acceleration in the direction of velocity is near that of the retarding forces. To stop it needs simply tilt against the direction of motion.
A piezo gyro on the plane of the craft can regulate the rotational rotation of the craft. This sensor provides a servomotor wave pulse proportional to the angular acceleration. This can be utilized as a sensor or as a direct control to the motors, until I purchace one and play around with it I dont know how it will be used.
Three accelerometers will be needed, one for each axis to give the orientation of the craft and of course the acceleration. Because of the absolute ambiguity between gravity and acceleration, Even with an accelerometer on each axis, you cannot from one data set provide a picture of your exact orientation, so smart software will be needed to examine lengths of accelerometer data.
Three IR rangers
will be used on this craft. One on top, one on bottom, and one on an edge defining the "front" of the craft. Ideally each sensor will be rotatable in a plane perpandicular to the craft, so that by spinning and moving the sensors through the range of motion you get information regarding the entire sphere surrounding the craft. The Limited range of these sensors can be corrected with a "contact lense" giving increased distance but lowering resolution.
There's the rub. The energy density of batteries is not sufficent to provite the monster power required by electric ducted fans for any significant amount of time. Non recharagable Lithium batteries would probably work (afew type C's), but at that cost I'd rather run wires to a car battery. Combustion engines provide a much better energy density, but their drawback is the inability to make quick changes in power, as would be needed in this situation. The Solution to that would be to use variable pitch blades as in a helicopter, but then the cost becomes unreasonable again. My current plan as I hinted to before, is to run it on an ambilical cord to a car battery.