What is a MultiCopter and How Does it Work

A Multicopter is an aerial vehicle that requires multiple downward thrusting propeller units to control its speeding or slowing motion. Some Multicopter will operate on autopilot and uses propellers, motors, frames, electronic speed controls, and battery for its smooth functioning. A Flight Controller, as its name suggests, is attached to a range of sensors required to automatically control the stability of the vehicle as a telemetric ground station.

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How Does It Work

The Multicopter uses four, six or even eight fans that point at the ground to propel the vehicle. There is a radio control transmitter and receiver for sending instructions to the aerial vehicle. A Multicopter requires careful matching of all components with their capabilities, ensuring a perfect balance between performance, projected weight, payload, and flight time.

  • A Multicopter possesses sufficient power to propel itself vertically, without requiring any support. These Multicoptors use powerful lithium batteries that are light but powerful to easily push to high altitudes and the Multicopter and allow it hover freely, unlike traditional battery technologies that were extremely heavy even for a reasonable duration flight.
  • These machines are loaded with a 3 axis accelerometer, 3 axis gyro, barometer, magnetometer or compass, and GPS. The radio control system makes in-flight communication possible with the Multicopter. It is due to the ease of control that Multirotor aircraft are used in radio control aircraft projects.
  • Fixed-pitch blades of a Multirotor aircraft control its motion by adjusting the relative speed of each rotor in order to transform the torque and thrust produced by them. At rest, (hovering) the vehicle has a net sum of zero forces. It is the combination of the motor and propeller that creates thrust and rotational torque and allow the Multicopter to achieve roll, yaw, and pitch, with the lift being the result if the thrust produced by each rotor. Eliminating all forces, including the gravity, wind, and drag, while generating thrust from all rotors allows a Multirotor to fly vertically. The addition of gravity would require the thrust to defeat the force of gravity on the vehicle. It is the equation between gravity and thrust that allow the vehicle to hover level, and if you vary the thrust produced by one rotor, the result will be a directional flight.

Multicopters are available in varying sizes and shapes, but all of these aircraft have some basic components, including propellers, motors, pilot command and control, frame, ESCs, and flight control module. In an aerial vehicle, with more than two rotors, a huge propeller requires greater power to spin up or down, while the pitch and diameter help determine thrust. The flight time and characteristics will depend on the amount of power required to spin the propeller.

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For safety reasons, it is important that ESCs and LiPo batteries match with the motor and propeller to avoid damage to the components in midair.

While a helicopter is able to auto rotate, a Multirotor vehicle without energy and thrust it is like a motionless brick.

When it comes to choosing a Multicopter, there are a few manufacturers that have designed and are manufacturing quality units with a quality flight controller. A computer chip at the center of a flight controller receives input from the operator and other onboard sensors, and each rotor functions accordingly. With a perfect rotor and motor combination, the Multirotor will perform with efficiency, offering you a thrilling user experience.

By Andrew Jerrard

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