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Technical Paper

Hybrid Projectile Transformation Condition Detection System for Extended Selectable Range

A Hybrid Projectile (HP) is a tube launched munition that transforms into a gliding UAV, and is currently being researched at West Virginia University. In order to properly transform, the moment of transformation needs to be controlled. A simple timer was first envisioned to control transformation point for maximum distance. The distance travelled or range of an HP can directly be modified by varying the launch angle. In addition, an internal timer would need to be reprogrammed for any distance less than maximum range due to the nominal time to deployment varying with launch angle. A method was sought for automatic wing deployment that would not require reprogramming the round. A body angle estimation system was used to estimate the pitch of the HP relative to the Earth to determine when the HP is properly oriented for the designed glide slope angle. It also filters out noise from an inertial measurement unit (IMU).
Journal Article

A De-Spin and Wings-Leveling Controller for a 40 mm Hybrid Projectile

A Hybrid Projectile (HP) is a round that transforms into a UAV after being launched. Some HP's are fired from a rifled barrel and must be de-spun and wings-level for lifting surfaces to be deployed. Control surfaces and controllers for de-spinning and wings-leveling were required for initial design of an HP 40 mm. Wings, used as lifting surfaces after transformation, need to be very close to level with the ground when deployed. First, the tail surface area needed to de-spin a 40 mm HP was examined analytically and simulated. Next, a controller was developed to maintain a steady de-spin rate and to roll-level the projectile in preparation of wing deployment. The controller was split into two pieces, one to control de-spin, and the other for roll-leveling the projectile. An adaptable transition point for switching controllers was identified analytically and then adjusted by using simulations.
Journal Article

Investigation of Small Scale Pulsed Detonation Engines and Feasibility Study for Implementation with Disposable Unmanned Aerial Systems

Significant efforts have been made in the research of Pulsed Detonation Engines (PDEs) to increase the reliability and longevity of detonation based propulsion systems for use in manned aircraft. However, the efficiency, durability, and low mechanical complexity of PDEs opens up potential for use in disposable unmanned-vehicles. This paper details the steps taken for producing a miniaturized pulse detonation engine at West Virginia University (WVU) to investigate the numerically generated constraining dimensions for Deflagration to Detonation Transition (DDT) cited in this paper. Initial dimensions for the WVU PDE Demonstrator were calculated using fuel specific DDT spatial properties featured in the work of Dr. Phillip Koshy Panicker, of The University of Texas at Arlington. The WVU demonstrator was powered using oxygen and acetylene mixed in stoichiometric proportions.
Journal Article

Preliminary Systems Evaluation for a Guidable Extended Range Tube Launched-UAV

Tube Launched-Unmanned Air Vehicles (TL-UAV) are munitions that alter their trajectories during flight to enhance the capabilities by possibly extending range, increasing loiter time through gliding, and/or having guided targeting capabilities. Traditional munition systems, specifically the tube-launched mortar rounds, are not guided. Performance of these "dumb" munitions could be enhanced by updating to TL-UAV and still utilize existing launch platforms with standard propellant detonation firing methods. The ability to actively control the flight path and extend range of a TL-UAV requires multiple onboard systems which need to be identified, integrated, assembled, and tested to meet cooperative function requirements. The main systems, for a mortar-based TL-UAV being developed at West Virginia University (WVU), are considered to be a central hub to process information, aerodynamic control devices, flight sensors, a video camera system, power management, and a wireless transceiver.