The Operation of UAV Propulsion Motors in the Presence of High External Magnetic Fields

Mohammad Heggo, Anees Mohammed, Juan Melecio, Khristopher Kabbabe, Paul Tuohy, Simon Watson, Sinisa Durovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The operation and maintenance of converter stations (also known as valve halls) in high voltage DC (HVDC) grids is a key element in long-term, reliable and stable operation, especially in inherently adverse offshore environments. However, the nature of the electromagnetic field environment inside HVDC valve halls presents a challenge for the operation of traditional off-shelf inspection robots. In this paper, the impact of the external magnetic field on the operation of an inspection UAV’s propulsion motors is assessed. An experimental method is proposed to simulate the maximum magnetic field interference to off-shelf UAV motors, which can be used to identify their suitability for use in HVDC valve halls inspection robots. The paper’s experimental results compare the performance of direct torque control and field-oriented control algorithms for propulsion motors under the influence of external magnetic flux. Under the influence of a 177 mT external magnetic field, it was found that using direct torque control, the motor rotational velocity steady-state error was up to 55%. With field-oriented control, the steady-state error was 0%, however the peak-to-peak current draw increased by up to 567%.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2021

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Dalton Nuclear Institute


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