What is a Quadcopter Drone?
Quadcopter drone is a specific term used for a drone that operates on four rotors. Like all the other drones, it is merely a flying mechanical vehicle. What makes it different is its build and flying mechanism. Quadcopter drones come in different sizes. They can be as small as the size of your hand to as big as carrying a passenger. They provide stable flight performance and thus can be used for surveillance and aerial photography.
How is Quadcopter Constructed?
The quadcopter has four arms, known as rotors. Each arm has a separate motor attached to a propeller. Two rotors run clockwise while the other two run counterclockwise.
- Controller– Usually, a quadcopter drone comes with a 4-channel controller to control different motions of the copter by sending commands. The commonly observed frequency used in controllers is 2.4 GHz. This is the same frequency used for WiFi connections in homes. The quadcopter controller also has four trim buttons. These are used to control unusual movements of your quadcopter. Suppose a quadcopter is drifting in a particular direction with no control input, a trim can then be applied for a control input in the opposite direction to remove the drift.
- Propellers– A quadcopter has two sets of propellers and two sets of motors, one in each of its rotors. The pitch of each set of propellers is different, and the collection of engines also rotate in opposite directions, clockwise and counter-clockwise. Each set of propellers belongs to a particular set of motors and work in coherence to produce desired movements.
What is the Operating Mechanism of a Quadcopter?
Quadcopter drones are aerodynamically unstable. They function on the command of flight computers. The flight computers convert your input commands into further commands that intend to change the RPMs of propellers accordingly, and the desired motion is produced.
In a quadcopter, all four rotors work together to produce the upward thrust. Each rotor is built to provide a quarter of the lift. As every motor has to do light flying jobs, usually less powerful engines are used in quadcopters. The movement is controlled by changing the degree of the speed of each rotor. The rotors are aligned in a square to keep a stable flight. Two rotors on the opposite ends of the diagonal rotate in a clockwise direction while the other two rotate in an anti-clockwise direction. Unlike a helicopter, all of its rotors do not turn in the same direction at the same time, and therefore a quadcopter does not spin like a regular helicopter with no tail rotor.
What are the Dynamics of a Quadcopter?
When we use the term dynamics, we mean the forces that act upon a quadcopter. Usually, four forces are operating on a quadcopter when it produces a specific motion:
- Lift: It is the upward reaction force generated by propellers.
- Thrust: It is the horizontal reaction force produced by propellers.
- Drag: It is the backward force on quadcopter drone due to the air.
- Gravity: This is the necessary gravitation pull by the earth due to the mass of the quadcopter.
What are the Four Motions of a Quadcopter?
A quadcopter has four controllable motions. Each can be controlled by controlling and maintaining the thrusts of rotors. These are:
- Yaw: Yaw is the turning motion of a quadcopter. When you turn it to the left or right, it is known as left yaw and right yaw, respectively. It is done by increasing or decreasing the speed of a clockwise rotor pair in the same direction.
- Roll: It is the tilt motion of quadcopter. When you turn your quadcopter left or right, you increase motor speed on the desired side and decrease it on the opposite side.
- Pitch: The forward and backward tilting of the quadcopter is known as pitch. It is done the same way rolling motion is produced, just that you need to increase the motor speed on one side and decrease it on the opposite one.
- Altitude: The simple flying of the quadcopter to a certain height and keeping it there is called altitude. This happens when the quadcopter is producing the same overall upward thrust.
How is Quadcopter Drone Different?
Quadcopter drone is different from helicopters and other fixed-wing aircraft in the following ways:
- Quadcopters generate lift and control forces in a unique way. In case of an aircraft, wings generate the lift, and in helicopters, the main rotor generates the lift. However, in the case of a quadcopter, propellers generate the lift. Even though quadcopters much resemble helicopters, they balance themselves through blade movement and not by using the tail rotor.
Quadcopter drone is simpler yet comes with high-end electronic technology. Ever since the 1920s and 1930s, a lot of work has been done on the mechanics and operations of a quadcopter. With the evolvement of technology and science, it is finally made possible.
Where is a Quadcopter Drone used?
Quadcopters do not only have different structures but also differ in their uses. As we know, the drone is a general category and is used for a wide range of purposes such as to deliver attacks, conduct search operations, surveillance and different intelligence missions by state and non-state actors.
Quadcopter being a specific term for a particular type comes with its specific uses. Quadcopter drone is mostly used for recreation rather than for some serious military, civilian or commercial purposes. With a variety of quadcopters available out there, each of them comes with a different degree of recreation.
For instance, you can buy a nano quadcopter if you want to fly a drone around your yard and house. Quadcopters also come with state-of-the-art technology that offers you capturing aerial photos and videos.
So, if you like drone flying, quadcopters are an excellent option to go for.
Are There Any Serious Regulations for Quadcopter Drones?
Even though these quadcopter drones are subjected to lesser regulations than all the other drones, you still need to be careful about the area you are flying it in. For example, there’s no drone of any type allowed within a certain radius of the White House!