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Technical Paper

CFRP Crash Absorbers in Small UAV: Design and Optimization

2015-09-15
2015-01-2461
The high number of hull losses is a main concern in the UAV field, mostly due to the high cost of on-board equipment. A crashworthiness design can be helpful to control the extent and position of crash impact damage, minimizing equipment losses. However, the wide use of composite materials has recently put the accent on the lack of data about the behavior of these structures under operative loads, such as the crash conditions. This paper presents the outcome of a set of tests carried out to achieve a controlled crush of UAV structures, and to maximize the Specific Energy Absorption. In this work, a small-scale experimental test able to characterize the energy absorption of a Carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer under compression was developed introducing self-supporting sinusoidal shape specimens, which avoid the need for complex anti-buckling devices.
Technical Paper

Image Processing Based Air Vehicles Classification for UAV Sense and Avoid Systems

2015-09-15
2015-01-2471
The maturity reached in the development of Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) systems is making them more and more attractive for a vast number of civil missions. Clearly, the introduction of UAVs in the civil airspace requiring practical and effective regulation is one of the most critical issues being currently discussed. As several civil air authorities report in their regulations “Sense and Avoid” or “Detect and Avoid” capabilities are critical to the successful integration of UAV into the civil airspace. One possible approach to achieve this capability, specifically for operations beyond the Line-of-Sight, would be to equip air vehicles with a vision-based system using cameras to monitor the surrounding air space and to classify other air vehicles flying in close proximity. This paper presents an image-based application for the supervised classification of air vehicles.
Technical Paper

A 3D User and Maintenance Manual for UAVs and Commercial Aircrafts Based on Augmented Reality

2015-09-15
2015-01-2473
Traditional User/Maintenance Manuals provide useful information when dealing with simple machines. However, when dealing with complex systems of systems and highly miniaturized technologies, like UAVs, or with machines with millions of parts, a commercial aircraft is a case in point, new technologies taking advantage of Augmented Reality can rapidly and effectively support the maintenance operations. This paper presents a User/Maintenance Manual based on Augmented Reality to help the operator in the detection of parts and in the sequence to be followed to assemble/disassemble systems and subsystems. The proposed system includes a handheld device and/or an head mounted display or special goggles, to be used by on-site operators, with software management providing data fusion and overlaying traditional 2D user/maintenance manual information with an augmented reality software and appropriate interface.
Technical Paper

New Unconventional Airship Concept by Morphing the Lenticular Shape

2015-09-15
2015-01-2577
The aim of this paper is to develop a new concept of unconventional airship based on morphing a lenticular shape while preserving the volumetric dimension. Lenticular shape is known to have relatively poor aerodynamic characteristics. It is also well known to have poor static and dynamic stability after the certain critical speed. The new shape presented in this paper is obtained by extending one and reducing the other direction of the original lenticular shape. The volume is kept constant through the morphing process. To improve the airship performance, four steps of morphing, starting from the lenticular shape, were obtained and compared in terms of aerodynamic characteristics, including drag, lift and pitching moment, and stability characteristics for two different operational scenarios. The comparison of the stability was carried out based on necessary deflection angle of the part of tail surface.
Technical Paper

Airship and Hot Air Balloon Real Time Envelope Shape Prediction through a Cloth Simulation Technique

2015-09-15
2015-01-2578
The flight simulation of airships and hot air balloons usually considers the envelope geometry as a fixed shape, whose volume is eventually reduced by ballonets. However, the dynamic pressure or helium leaks in airships, and the release of air to allow descent in hot air balloons can significantly change the shape of the envelope leading to potential dangerous situations. In fact, in case of semi-rigid and non-rigid airships a reduction in envelope internal pressure can reduce the envelope bending stiffness leading to the loss of the typical axial-symmetric shape. For hot air balloons thing goes even worse since the lost of internal pressure can lead to the collapsing of the balloon shape to a sort of vertically stretched geometry (similar to a torch) which is not able to sustain the attached basket and its payload.
Technical Paper

Design, Optimization, Performances and Flight Operation of an All Composite Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

2013-09-17
2013-01-2192
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) provide the ability to perform a variety of experimental tests of systems and unproven research technologies, including new autopilot systems and obstacle avoidance capabilities, without risking the lives of human pilots. This paper describes the activities of design, optimization, and flight operations of a UAV conceived at Clarkson University (USA) and equipped to perform wind speed measurements to support wind farmsite planning. The UAV design has been assisted and validated by the use of an automatic virtual environment for the assisted design of civil UAVs. This tool can be used as a “computing machine” for civil UAVs. The operator inputs the mission profile and other generic parameters and data about performance, aerodynamics, and weight breakdown are extracted. A mathematical model of the UAV for flight simulation and its dynamic computations, along with automatic drawing is also produced.
Technical Paper

Rapid Prototyping as a Tool to Support Wind Tunnel Testing of Unconventional Unmanned Airships

2013-09-17
2013-01-2193
Scaled models are often used to check the aerodynamic performance of full scale aircraft and airship concepts, which have gone through a conceptual and preliminary design process. Results from these tests can be quite useful to improve the design of unconventional airships whose aerodynamics might be quite different from classical configurations. Once the airship geometry has been defined, testing is required to acquire aerodynamic data necessary to implement the mathematical model of the airship needed by the flight control system to develop full autonomous capabilities. Rapid prototyping has the great potential of playing a beneficial role in unconventional autonomous airship design similarly to the success obtained in the design process of conventional aircrafts.
Technical Paper

A Mesh Based Approach for Unconventional Unmanned Airship Added Masses Computation

2013-09-17
2013-01-2191
Added masses computation is a crucial aspect to be considered when the density of a body moving in a fluid is comparable to the density of the fluid displaced: added mass can be defined as the inertia added to a system because an accelerating or decelerating body displaces some volume of neighboring fluid as it moves through it. The motion of vehicles like airships and ships can be addressed only by keeping into account the effect of added masses, while in case of aircrafts and helicopters this contribution is usually neglected. Lighter Than Air flight simulation, unmanned airships flight control system, airships flight dynamics are typical applications in which added masses are fundamental to achieve an effective and realistic modeling. A panel based method using the mesh of an airship external shape is developed to account for the added massed.
Technical Paper

An Integrated Software Environment for UAV Missions Support

2013-09-17
2013-01-2189
This paper describes the design and development of a virtual environment conceived to support flight operations of an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) used for wind mapping in the proximity of existing or planned wind farms. The virtual environment can be used in pre-flight briefings aiming to define a trajectory from a list of waypoints, to change and eventually re-plan the mission in case of intersection with no fly zones, to simulate the mission, and to preview images/videos taken from the UAV on-board cameras. During flight, the tool can be used to compute the wind speed along the trajectory by analyzing the data streaming from the UAV. The integration of Augmented Reality (AR) techniques in the flight environment provides assistance in remotely piloted landings, and allows visualizing flight and environmental information that are critical to the mission.
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