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Title: An actuator allocation method for a variable-pitch propeller system of quadrotor-based UAVs
Authors: Chang, C 
Chen, S 
Wen, C 
Li, B 
Issue Date: 1-Oct-2020
Source: Sensors, 1 Oct. 2020, v. 20, no. 19, p. 1-17
Abstract: This paper presents a control allocation method for enhancing the attitude following performance and the energy efficiency of a variable-pitch propeller (VPP) system on quadrotor-based unmanned aerial vehicles. The VPP system was modeled according to the blade element momentum (BEM) theory, and an actuator allocation method was developed with the aim of enhancing the attitude control and energy performance. A simulation environment was built to validate the VPP system by creating a thrust and moment database from the experiments. A four-motor variable-pitch quadrotor was built for verifying the proposed method. The control allocation method was firstly verified in a simulation environment, and was then implemented in a flight controller for indoor flight experiments. The simulation results show the proposed control allocation method greatly improves the yaw following performance. The experimental results demonstrate a difference in the energy consumption through various pitch angles, as well as a reduction in energy consumption, by applying this VPP system.
Keywords: Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
Actuator allocation
Variable-pitch propeller
Flight experiment
Simulink simulation
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
Journal: Sensors 
EISSN: 1424-8220
DOI: 10.3390/s20195651
Rights: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
The following publication Chang, C.-W.; Chen, S.; Wen, C.-Y.; Li, B. An Actuator Allocation Method for a Variable-Pitch Propeller System of Quadrotor-based UAVs. Sensors 2020, 20, 5651 is available at
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