Bio-Inspired Echolocation Using Characteristics of Propeller System Acoustic Signature
Technical Report,01 Jan 2019,30 Sep 2019
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON United States
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Many species of bats are well-known for their abilities to perceive and navigate environments using sound. While these organisms emit sounds through voice calls and tongue clicks, and traditional engineered systems have looked at dedicated hardware for producing similar signals, the research outlined here seeks to leverage the acoustics inherent in small unmanned aircraft system UAS propulsion and control systems hardware to enable localization and navigation tasks. This approach to echolocation reduces size, weight and power requirements, leading to more efficient UAS platforms, among other advantages. Conducting experiments with propellers from hover-capable air vehicles, we have identified the potential utility of using the motor update rate on each of the propeller motors as controllable acoustic signaling devices, demonstrating high signal-to-noise intensity at various specified update frequencies. Further, we have analyzed broadband acoustic data under various propeller operating conditions in the presence of multiple wall configurations. Overall, identification of localization performance limits will help determine the utility of using propeller system embedded acoustics as a navigation tool for small UASs.
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment
- Military Aircraft Operations