Numerical Modelling of Package Delivery from a Fixed-Wing Drone


In this computational laboratory, the behaviour of the physics of packages travelling through the air (with a timed parachute) was explored, with the intention of developing a way of computing the required firing angle for a drone used by an internet based retailer, using MATLAB. Angles of both 25.19 degrees and 5.93 degrees  were found to be suitable to pass to a pitching control system on a drone, with  being preferred due to the lower resultant impact velocity. This method of calculation was based upon modelling the system as an ODE (via free body diagrams), then using numerical methods to solve it for a given angle, and combining this with the shooting method in order to tend towards an appropriate firing angle. Various additional extensions were explored, such as allowing more of the environmental data to be suitable for reading from sensors, and exploring ways to make the system more reflective of the companies’ potential demands, such as desiring low impact velocities and fast computation. Program efficiency was also explored, to ensure responsive computation.