Tools for the Conceptual Design and Engineering Analysis of Micro Air Vehicles
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT
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Micro Air Vehicles MAV are a subset of Unmanned Aircraft UAS that are up to two orders of magnitude smaller than manned systems. Near-Earth environments, such as forests, caves, tunnels and urban structures make reconnaissance, surveillance and search-and-rescue missions difficult and dangerous to accomplish. Therefore, MAVs are considered ideal for these types of missions. However, the data using full size aircraft is inadequate to characterize miniature aircraft parameters due to the lower Reynolds numbers and low aspect ratio LAR wings and impact of wing-propeller interactions. The main objectives of this research were to collect and synthesize the available datatools create a statistically integrated databasetool set of MAV designs for conceptual design trades validate the tool set using published experimental data synthesize and model a prototype design using conceptual and empirical analysis highlight MAV-specific design criteria and identify gaps in existing data for later research. The following design tools have constituted the starting point for creating a demonstration tool-set for MAV design Digital DATCOM aerodynamics, Athena Vortex Lattice AVL stability and control, QPROP propeller, motor, and energy requirement, MATLAB various applications, Microsoft Excel powerbattery modeling and Phoenix Integration ModelCenter MC as the executive control program integration, sizing and trade studies. Validation cases were completed for the current level of the single-prop, fixed-wing design tool. A coaxial MAV prototype was evaluated and some parametric studies were conducted for QPROP performance.
- Pilotless Aircraft