Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Bradley Burchett

Second Advisor

David Fisher

Third Advisor

Mark Yoder


Unmanned aerial vehicles are quickly becoming a significant and permanent feature in today's world of aviation. Amongst the various types of UAVs, a popular type is the quadcopter. Also referred to as a quadrotor, this rotor craft's defining feature is that it has four propellers. While its use is common in the hobbyist community, this aircraft's use within industry is blooming.

Presented are the efforts to design and implement a controller for a BeagleBone based quadcopter. As part of this effort, characteristics of the quadcopter were experimentally determined. These characteristics consist of physical properties of the quadcopter, such as the moments of inertia, the motor performance characteristics, and variance within its sensors. A model was then created and implemented within a MATLAB environment to simulate the flight of the quadcopter. With a simulated environment created, a controller was designed to control the flight of the quadcopter and a Kalman Filter was implemented to alter a sensor input. These designs were then verified in the simulated environment.