About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3563-3573
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain

USING CUTTING-EDGE UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES (UAVS) TECHNOLOGY FOR COURSES TEACHING
Y.M. Zhang

Concordia University (CANADA)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are gaining more and more attention during the last few years due to their important contributions and cost-effective applications in several tasks such as surveillance, search, rescue missions, geographic studies, as well as military and security applications. Compared with manned aerial vehicles, due to the requirements of autonomous flight under different flight conditions without pilot onboard, control of UAV flight is much more challenging since all operations have to be carried out by the automated flight control, navigation and guidance algorithms embedded on the onboard flight (micro)computer/microcontroller or with limited interference by ground pilot if needed.

A team of researchers at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering of Concordia University, with the financial support from NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) through a Strategic Project Grant and a Discovery Project Grant and three Canadian-based industrial partners (Quanser Inc., Opal-RT Technologies Inc., and Numerica Technologies Inc.), have been worked on a research and development project on fault-tolerant and cooperative control of multiple UAVs since 2007. A quadrotor helicopter UAV physical test-bed has been developed through the projects with the help for the test-bed developed by Quanser Inc. Benefitted with this cutting-edge research activities and outcomes, since September 2010, Concordia University has made first time of use of the developed quadrotor helicopter UAV (called as Qball-X4) for two courses teaching, which includes an undergraduate course “Flight Control Systems” and a graduate course “Fault Diagnosis and Fault Tolerant Control Systems”. Through the use of such a cutting-edge unmanned aerial vehicle, students are able to practice and test the flight control theories learnt from the course in such a physical and practical test-bed, which help students to link theory with engineering practice and even have deeper and better understanding of the theories if without such an experimental and flyable test-bed. Students are attracted and motivated to continue in their studies and work.

In this paper, the fundamental concepts of flight control and fault-tolerant control will be briefly introduced first. The system configuration and features of the developed Qball-X4 quadrotor helicopter UAV system are then introduced. Approaches and procedures towards the use of the Qball-X4 UAV in the two courses for undergraduate lab development and graduate course projects development will be described. Achievement of using the Qball-X4 UAV in the courses labs and course projects are then presented. What we have learnt through the use of such a cutting-edge new UAV technology for the two courses teaching is summarized at the end of the paper.
@InProceedings{ZHANG2011USI,
author = {Zhang, Y.M.},
title = {USING CUTTING-EDGE UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES (UAVS) TECHNOLOGY FOR COURSES TEACHING},
series = {3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN11 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-0441-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {3563-3573}}
TY - CONF
AU - Y.M. Zhang
TI - USING CUTTING-EDGE UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES (UAVS) TECHNOLOGY FOR COURSES TEACHING
SN - 978-84-615-0441-1/2340-1117
PY - 2011
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2011
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN11 Proceedings
SP - 3563
EP - 3573
ER -
Y.M. Zhang (2011) USING CUTTING-EDGE UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES (UAVS) TECHNOLOGY FOR COURSES TEACHING, EDULEARN11 Proceedings, pp. 3563-3573.
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