Building a Quadcopter-Components Explained: Diary of a Flying Car Engineer #2

March 27th 2018
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@init_27Sanyam Bhutani

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Diary of a Flying Car Engineer #2

Source: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/gopro-karma-4

This post provides a walkthrough of the Components involved in building a Quadcopter by giving a walkthrough of the components of Our Flying Car Test Platform, The Crazyflie 2.0

Crazyflie 2.0

Incase you prefer watching a video showcasing the components via Assembly, please check out the Link below:

Note: For the Crazyflie, Airframe has the ESCs, Flight Computer and Airframe are all in built on the Airframe.

Airframe

  • It’s the chasis of our Quad.
  • Holds all the Motors and ESCs in place.
  • All of the components are mounted on it.
  • Ideal candidates are light enough to allow flights and Strong enough to endure crashes.
  • The material of choice here is Carbon Fibre.
  • Our Drone kit features a plastic airframe

Autopilot + Flight Controller

Note: The two are mentioned are as a combined unit for simplicity However have some significant technical different tasks. Autopilot controls the motors and Flight Controller-Flight execution.

  • Brains of the Drone.
  • Controls the Motors and executes the Flight plan.
  • Works based on readings from IMU and GPS.
  • Runs calculations under the hood that are required to control the ESCs

ESC

  • Electronic Speed Control
  • Used to interface between the Motors and Flight Controller
  • Directs the battery power and control between the two componenets

Battery

  • Powerhouse of the Drone, powers the complete machine.
  • Should be light enough to allow flight and powerful enough to allow a sustained flight for the flight duration.
  • We have a tiny LiPo battery for our kit.
  • LiPo is again the material of choice since it delivers all of the above factors.

Motors

  • Motors should be powerful enough to allow flying.
  • They should also be efficient enough to allow long durations of flight.
  • BLDC motors are featured in the bundle since they champion the above factors.

IMU

  • Inertial Measurement Unit.
  • As the name suggests, give various measurements of the changes in inertia.
  • In simpler terms, give the current orientation and heading of our Quad.

Propeller

  • Pull the Air Downwards (Tractors)
  • Act as Wings for Flights.
  • Should produce enough Thrust for our Flying needs.

Note: Pitch: The twist of the propellers-is the linear distance moved by the Propellers in one complete rotation.

  • Generally speaking, Thrust depends on the RPMs of motors.
  • Bigger propellers are more efficient.
  • Greater Pitch allow more manoeuvrability.

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