Date of Award
Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Frederick G. Harmon, PhD
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 data/tools; create a statistically integrated database/tool 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 (power/battery modeling) and Phoenix Integration Model Center (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.
DTIC Accession Number
Turan, Mustafa, "Tools for the Conceptual Design and Engineering Analysis of Micro Air Vehicles" (2009). Theses and Dissertations. 2406.