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Project Report

Hovercraft

By Hassan Abdulkareem Jassim M. Alhor Miguel A. Frontera

Table of Contents

Introduction Abstract Apparatus

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3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 15 17 19 20 21 22 23

Sensor Mechanism Time Response System Response Stability Analysis Control System Conclusion

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Appendix A: Equation of Motion

Appendix B: Budget . Appendix C: Time Schedule . .

Appendix D: Picture of the Hovercraft Appendix E: Finding the Thrust

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Appendix F: Time Response Plot Data Appendix G: MOSFET Specifications Appendix H: Computer Board Connector

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Introduction We are designing a hovercraft that would maintain a certain altitude. Two vertical poles are guiding the hovercraft when its in motion (see Figure 1). A battery operated motor and propeller are providing the necessary power to left the hovercraft and its load. Manual control can be done by installing a variable resistor over the motor power leads. The computer control system was done using I/O card.

Figure 1: Hovercraft

Abstract

Altitude of the Hovercraft was to be measured and controlled using a feed back system. Feedback system was designed using a voltmeter and a resistor wire. As the Hovercraft changes altitude, the internal resistance of the wire changes relatively. The resistor wire was placed along one of the poles. A linear relationship between altitude and the internal resistance was established as the guidance for the closed loop system. System was constructed using wooden plate for the base, wooden poles, voltmeter, motor and propeller, brass tubes as bearings, and wires. Parts were glued together (see Appendix D for a picture of the hovercraft).

The system was designed for a one-semester project and is quite fragile. Some reinforcement could be needed if the system was to last longer, including gluing some stronger flat surface to the base of the system to avoid the misalignment of the poles because of bending. Also, some reinforcement could be needed for the poles and some springs could help avoid the hovercraft to hit the base to hard when the power is reduced too sharply.

Apparatus

The following is a list of all of the part used to construct the hovercraft. The actual project budget, $63.89, came under the initial estimate, $72.00. The cost of each part is listed in Appendix B. The input/output computer card and board were not included in the total budget because the University of Texas at San Antonio supplied them. Minor supplies, such as glue and lubricant, were not included in the total budget as well.

Table 1: Equipment List Part Motor Specifications Graupner Speed 400. Voltage 7.2. Produces 120W Propeller Resistor Wire Voltmeter Spinner Constant Current Supply Electrical Wire Brass Tube Wood Sheet Wood Sticks Hardwood Dowel MOSFET Heat Sink Batteries 18 Gage 7/16 round Size 0.25x6x36 52cm long Size 3/8x36 Philips ECG2395 (See Appendix G) 1.5x1.0x0.5 Sanyo KR-600-AE. 8.4Volts SlimPROP Super. Size 9x5 52cm long RadioSHACK 22-410. 0-15V C.G. 1 LKG Industries M-W-122A

Sensor Mechanism An altitude-sensing device is needed for this project. It was made from resistor wire. The resistor wire was attached to the support stick. A voltmeter was be used as a height gage. One voltmeter lead will be attached to one end of the resistor wire, while the other lead will be attached to the hovercraft. The higher the hovercraft goes, the higher the measured resistance will be (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Sensor Mechanism

The following table is used to determine the location of the hovercraft. The height in inches is given for selected voltage readouts. Other heights can easily be found by interpolating between the given values.

Table 2: Voltage Across Variable Resistor Voltage (V) Height (in) 0.49 0 1.09 5 1.67 10 2.28 15 2.99 20

The following plot shows the relationship between the voltage measured across the variable resistor and the height of the hovercraft.

Height vs. Voltage


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Height

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0 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5

Voltage (V)

By linearizing this relationship, we get the following equation describing the voltage in terms of height. V = 0.126H + 0.49 Where V: Voltage in (V) H: Height in (in)

This equation was used in the control diagram to convert the desired height into voltage. This step allows for a direct comparison between the voltage readout across the variable resistor and the desired height.

Time Response

The time response was found with the following assumptions: No air drag Gravity = constant Weight is constant (neglecting the weight of the wire) Ground effect is constant Vo = yo = 0 Thrust is formulated as a multiple of weight and treated the two as step function

The time response expressed in the Laplace domain is (see Appendix A for the complete derivation): Y(s) = [g(T-1) sy(0)(1-s) + sy(0)] / [s2(s+b)]

By assuming the initial conditions as zero, the time response can be expressed as follows: y(t) = g(T-1) [ t/b 1/b2 + e-bt ] Where b: coefficient of friction T: thrust g: gravity constant t: time

System Response

In order to calculate the system response, the thrust of the motor had to be calculated. Then, the time response equation can be solved.

The trust was found by keep the hovercraft at a certain altitude and taking voltage measurements. These voltage measurements were taken across the motor. By repeating this process using different weights, a plot of the voltage vs. thrust was found (see Appendix E). The voltage range was from 4.2 to 5.0 volts. The thrust range was from 0.226 to 0.290 N.

Assuming a friction factor b of 1, the following plot was generated for different thrust values (see Appendix F for the table of data used to generate the plot).

Response vs . Time
9 8 7 6

Response

5 4 3 2 1 0 0.0 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.6 2.0

0.23 Thrust 0.25 Thrust 0.27 Thrust

Time

Stability Analysis

The stability of the system was determined using the Routh-Hurwitz method. A MathLAB code was developed to analyze the system and predict its behavior (see Figure 3). By varying the thrust of the motor, the roots for the characteristics equation were found.

Figure 3: MathLAB Code The following plot shows the behavior of the system. For a stable system, the solutions with negative real part are considered.

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Control System

After setting the desired height for the hovercraft to reach, the motor starts with full power. Then, the controller adjusts the power to the motor by a MOSFET to increase or decrease the power going to the motor (see Figure 4). The terminals of the variable resistor are connected to the computer card to provide the necessary height information for the controller. Once the desired height is reached, the controller holds the hovercraft for the desired period of time.

Figure 4: Control System

The nomenclature for the above figure is as follows:

H: Desired Altitude K2: Gain V: Voltage necessary to maintain a given height Km: Motor Gain MC/s: Motor Dynamics 1/s(s+B): Dynamics of System K1: Sensor

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The following, Figure 5, is the circuit diagram for the hovercraft, power supply, and the input/output card (see Appendix H for pin configuration).

Figure 5: Circuit Diagram

The MOSFET control was also a problem. Not only maximum current and voltage needed to be checked before using a MOSFET or another; maximum power also needed to be taken in account as the used motor was actually producing up to 80 watts of power. These was initially overlooked the team and many MOSFETS were burned before getting the right one. At the end the MOSFET used was capable of handling 150 Watts and even then the high current drawn by the motor caused the MOSFET to heat up rapidly and a fan had to be used to cool it.

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LABview, a control program, was used to construct the control algorithm for the system. Two methods of control were developed: position control and velocity control. The velocity control algorithm did not work as well as the position control. Some spikes of +- .01 volts were observed coming from the sensor into the LABview algorithm. Because of the design of the algorithm this spikes were amplified to up to +-.1 volts into the gate of the MOSFET controlling the motor voltage. This resulted in spikes of more than +- 1 volt to the motor voltage. This change of almost two volts created a change in motor rpm of about 1000 making the system totally unstable. Increasing the delaying time for sampling seemed to improve the stability of the system. It was suggested that an averaging algorithm could be setup to smooth these spikes and improve the response of the system. Position control, on the other hand, relies only on one parameter to determine the current height of the hovercraft (see Figure 6). By comparing the voltage readout across the variable resistor to the current readout, the voltage to the MOSFET gate was determined. By changing the voltage across the gate, the power to the motor was changed accordingly.

Figure 6: LABview Position Control Algorithm

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By experiment, the voltage to maintain a certain height was found to be 2.37V. Figure 7 illustrates the interface of the position control algorithm. Changing the height triggers the control algorithm to reach the given height.

Figure 7: Interface of Position Control Algorithm

The LABview position control algorithm allowed the hovercraft to get to a certain height with accuracy within a half an inch. The hovercraft reached this position within a reasonable period of time, ranging from two seconds for small changes to about five for large displacements.

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Conclusion

As the project is concluded, some details deserve to be noted about this project.

The LABview position control algorithm allowed the hovercraft to get to a certain height with accuracy within a half an inch. The hovercraft reached this position within a reasonable period of time, ranging from two seconds for small changes to about five for large displacements.

The LABview velocity control algorithm however did not work as well as the position control. Some spikes of +- .01 volts were observed coming from the sensor into the LABview algorithm. Because of the design of the algorithm this spikes were amplified to up to +-.1 volts into the gate of the MOSFET controlling the motor voltage. This resulted in spikes of more than +- 1 volt to the motor voltage. This change of almost two volts created a change in motor rpm of about 1000 making the system totally unstable. Increasing the delaying time for sampling seemed to improve the stability of the system. It was suggested that an averaging algorithm could be setup to smooth these spikes and improve the response of the system.

The motor performed flawlessly but the power source (batteries) was quite problematic, as recharging was constantly needed. A power supply would be much more reliable and usable for long studies of the stability of this system. The motor had been tested to draw an average of 8.47 amps at 8.4 volts that was achievable by many modern power supplies; the problem arose at "spool up" time. When the motor was started from zero angular velocity it needed higher amperage to get to normal operational speed; this resulted in a spike of high current that caused the power supplies to shut down to avoid damage for over-current. The motor was later tested to calculate the size of these high current spikes and they were found to be in the order of 14 to 15 amps when the motor was fed with an 8.4 volts battery. It was difficult to calculate the exact size of the spikes because of the equipment used, the brevity of their existence and because they were changing, as the motor was getting hot and the battery discharged. The solution to this

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problem is to use a power supply that can deliver more than 15 amps under normal operation or a 10-amp power supply with no surge protection. The brevity of the spikes should not cause the power supply to fail.

The MOSFET control was also a problem. Not only maximum current and voltage needed to be checked before using a MOSFET or another; maximum power also needed to be taken in account as the used motor was actually producing up to 80 watts of power. These was initially overlooked the team and many MOSFETS were burned before getting the right one. At the end the MOSFET used was capable of handling 150 Watts and even then the high current drawn by the motor caused the MOSFET to heat up rapidly and a fan had to be used to cool it.

The system was designed for a one-semester project and is quite fragile. Some reinforcement could be needed if the system was to last longer, including gluing some stronger flat surface to the base of the system to avoid the misalignment of the poles because of bending. Also, some reinforcement could be needed for the poles and some springs could help avoid the hovercraft to hit the base to hard when the power is reduced too sharply.

All in all, it was interesting to find out how practically any system could be controlled through a computer using a relatively easy to use program. The major difficulties in this project came from parts not belonging to the proper design of the system, but other parts such as the use of the MOSFETs and power supplies. Much knowledge was gained about computer control algorithms, systems stability and of course, troubleshooting of prototypes. It was an interesting and valuable hands-on experience.

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Appendix A Equation of Motion

Assumptions: No air drag Gravity = constant Weight is constant (neglecting the weight of the wire) Ground effect is constant Vo = yo = 0 Thrust is formulated as a multiple of weight and treated the two as step function

Laplace Derivation: F = ma = Tmg mg bv d2y/dt2 = g(T-1) u(t) bdy/dt s2Y(s) sy(0) y(0) = g(T-1)/s b[sY(s) y(0)] s2Y(s) + bsY(s) + y(0) sy(0) y(0) = g(T-1)/s Y(s)[s2+sb] + y(0)[1-s] y(0) = g(T-1)/s Y(s) = [g(T-1)/s sy(0)(1-s) + y(0)] / [s2+sb)]

Y(s) = [g(T-1) sy(0)(1-s) + sy(0)] / [s2(s+b)]

Laplace

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Transfer Function: Y(s) = g(T-1) / [s2(s+b)] g(T-1) / [s2(s+b)] = A/s2 + B/s + C/(s+b) where A = g(T-1)/b B = -g(T-1)/b2 C = g(T-1) Y(s) = g(T-1)/bs2 g(T-1)/b2s + g(T-1)/(s+b)

y(t) = g(T-1) [ t/b 1/b2 + e-bt ]

Time Response

Nomenclature: b = coefficient of friction T = thrust g = gravity constant t = time m = mass v = velocity F = Force

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Appendix B Budget

The speed controller, batteries, transmitter and receiver were not included in the total budget because they are used temporarily. A computer-controlled system will replace these parts in the second phase of this project. Minor supplies, such as glue and lubricant, were not included in the total budget as well.

Part Motor Propeller Voltmeter Constant Current Supply Electrical Wire Brass Tube Wood Sheet Wood Sticks Hardwood Dowel MOSFET Heat Sink Batteries Total

Cost 10.00 5.00 14.00 19.99 3.00 1.75 4.00 1.50 1.50 5.70 0.50 Temporarily 63.89

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Appendix C Time Schedule

9/20 10/4

10/5 10/19

10/20 11/4

11/5 12/10

Conception Buying Parts Building Testing Computer Control Finalizing Report

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Appendix D Picture of the Hovercraft

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Appendix E Finding the Thrust

The trust was found by keep the hovercraft at a certain altitude and taking voltage measurements. These voltage measurements were taken across the motor. By repeating this process using different weights, a plot of the voltage vs. thrust was found.

Experimental Data:

Hovercraft height = 5in from the ground Mass of hovercraft = 226g Thrust = Mass x Gravity

Voltage vs. Thrust


0.30 0.28

Thrust

0.25 0.23 0.20 4 4.2 4.4 4.6 4.8 5

Voltage (V)

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Appendix F Time Response Data

Assumptions: Friction Coefficient b = 1

Equation: y(t) = g(T-1) [ t/b 1/b2 + e-bt ]

Thrust 0.23

Time 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.0

Response 0.00 0.04 0.14 0.31 0.53 0.80 1.12 1.48 1.88 2.32 2.78 3.27 3.79 4.32 4.88 5.46 6.06 6.67 7.29 7.93 8.58

Thrust 0.25

Time 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.0

Response 0.00 0.04 0.14 0.30 0.52 0.78 1.09 1.45 1.83 2.26 2.71 3.18 3.69 4.21 4.76 5.32 5.90 6.49 7.10 7.72 8.35

Thrust 0.27

Time 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.0

Response 0.00 0.03 0.13 0.29 0.50 0.76 1.07 1.41 1.79 2.20 2.63 3.10 3.59 4.10 4.63 5.18 5.74 6.32 6.91 7.52 8.13

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Appendix G MOSFET Specifications

Model Number: Philips ECG2395 Power: 150W Current: 50A BVDSS: 60V BVGSS: 30V GFS: 17min. RDS ON: .028ohm Toff: 170nS Tf: 120nS

MOSFET Diagram

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Appendix H Computer Board Connector

6024E I/O Connector

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