Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Systems Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Joerg D. Walter, PhD


With the increase in both technology push and operational pull of mini/micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) within DoD organizations, an understanding of their interactions and capabilities is necessary. Many MAVs have already been developed for a specific usage and much speculation has been made on their future uses. Despite the growth of MAVs, there is currently no overarching systems architecture which would envelop and guide the DoD's MAV development efforts. The goal of this thesis is to apply sound systems engineering principals to develop a MAV architectural model describing their use in three separate but closely related mission areas: Over-the-Hill-Reconnaissance, Battle Damage Information, and Local Area Defense. This thesis focuses on single-man packable/operable MAVs utilized by small ground units synonymous with special operations forces. The three mission areas are combined to define a single overarching Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) MAV architecture. This architecture focuses on the current state of ISR MAVs and provides a baseline current capability. From this architecture, areas of interest relating to MAVs and their use in the DoD are discussed, focusing on enhancing both current and future capabilities of MAVs.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Co-authored thesis.