Faculty Advisor

Cowlagi, Raghvendra V.

Faculty Advisor

Olinger, David J.


Helicopter sling loads are widely used for cargo delivery by the military, but are inherently unstable in flight, which is hazardous. This project designed the SPARTA system to stabilize sling loads using active control methods by redirecting airflow over the sling load using a rudder and pipes with control vents, to create stabilizing forces and moments. This project involved mathematical modeling, simulation, and wind-tunnel testing of the SPARTA system for a 1/17 scale standard sling load cargo container. Stabilization of yaw motion and lateral sway motion of the sling load were investigated using the LQR control algorithm. An Arduino microcontroller was used to collect measurements and to actuate the control surfaces with servomotors.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2015


Aerospace Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering