The traditional multicopter design method usually requires a long iterative process to find the optimal design based on given performance requirements. The method is uneconomical and inefficient. In this article, a practical method is proposed to automatically calculate the optimal multicopter design according to the given design requirements including flight time, altitude, payload capacity, and maneuverability. The proposed method contains two algorithms, including an off-line algorithm and an online algorithm. The off-line algorithm finds the optimal components (propeller and electronic speed controller) for each motor to establish its component combination, and subsequently, these component combinations and their key performance parameters are stored in a combination database. The online algorithm obtains the multicopter design results that satisfy the given requirements by searching through the component combinations in the database and calculating the optimal parameters for the battery and airframe. Subsequently, these requirement-satisfied multicopter design results are obtained and sorted according to an objective function that contains evaluation indexes, including size, weight, performance, and practicability. The proposed method has the advantages of high precision and quick calculating speed because parameter calibrations and time-consuming calculations are completed offline. Experiments are performed to validate the effectiveness and practicality of the proposed method. Comparisons with the brutal search method and other design methods demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed method.
DESIGN AUTOMATION AND OPTIMIZATION METHODOLOGY FOR ELECTRIC MULTICOPTER UNMANNED AERIAL ROBOTS