L. Lipera, J. Colbourne, M. Tischler, M. Mansur, M. Rotkowitz, and P. Patangui
The Micro Craft iSTAR Micro Air Vehicle: Control System Design and Testing
Proceedings of the American Helicopter Society 57th Annual Forum, pp. 1998-2008, May 2001.


The iSTAR Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) is a unique 9-inch diameter ducted air vehicle weighing approximately 4 lb. The configuration consists of a ducted fan with control vanes at the duct exit plane. This VTOL aircraft not only hovers, but it can also fly at high forward speed by pitching over to a near horizontal attitude. The duct both increases propulsion efficiency and produces lift in horizontal flight, similar to a conventional planar wing. The vehicle is controlled using a rate based control system with piezo-electric gyroscopes. The Flight Control Computer (FCC) processes the pilot's commands and the rate data from the gyroscopes to stabilize and control the vehicle. First flight of the iSTAR MAV was successfully accomplished in October 2000. Flight at high pitch angles and high speed took place in November 2000. This paper describes the vehicle, control system, and ground and flight-test results.