The ornithopter project is working towards a mobile flapping winged micro aerial vehicle platform that can exhibit high maneuverability. This report presents a software package to simulate the motion of a 13 gram ornithopter in the sagittal and yaw planes. The aerodynamics of flapping winged flight is nonlinear and complex, so an alternative method with which to compute the aerodynamics of the ornithopter is described. The simulation environment in the sagittal plane is implemented using rigid body dynamics with averaged aerodynamic forces and moments collected from a wind tunnel. Subsequently, steady state true flight data are used to improve the wind tunnel data to provide a more realistic simulation. The yaw dynamics of the ornithopter are modeled using system identification methods to determine a one-dimensional model that can be used to predict the motion of the ornithopter in the horizontal plane at low computational cost. This model is used in conjunction with a larger model to determine the best regions in which to initiate cooperative control to reach a goal. The accuracy of both models is supported by true flight data of the ornithopter collected using a Vicon motion capture system. Models have been developed that can be used to predict the success of a particular steering control sequence in reality.




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