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Technical Paper

Design, Construction, and Operation of a Pneumatic Test Launch Apparatus for sUAS Prototypes

2015-09-15
2015-01-2454
The design and testing of small unmanned aerial vehicle (sUAV) prototypes can provide numerous difficulties when compared to the same process applied to larger aircraft. In most cases, it is desirable to have a better understanding of the low Reynolds number aerodynamics and stability characteristics prior to completion of the final sUAV design. This paper describes the design, construction, and operational performance of a pneumatic launch apparatus that has been used at West Virginia University (WVU) for the development and early flight testing of transforming sUAV platforms. Although other launch platforms exist that can provide the safe launch of such prototypes, the particular launch apparatus constructed at WVU exhibits unmatched launch efficiency, and is far less expensive to operate per shot than any other launch system available.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Dynamic Roughness Flow Control on NACA 0012 Airfoil at Low Reynolds Number

2013-09-17
2013-01-2096
There is an ever growing need in the aircraft industry to increase the performance of a flight vehicle. To enhance performance of the flight vehicle one active area of research effort has been focused on the control of the boundary layer by both active and passive means. An effective flow control mechanism can improve the performance of a flight vehicle by eliminating boundary layer separation at the leading edge (as long as the energy required to drive the mechanism is not greater than the savings). In this paper the effectiveness of a novel active flow control technique known as dynamic roughness (DR) to eliminate flow separation in a stalled NACA 0012 wing has been explored. As opposed to static roughness, dynamic roughness utilizes small time-dependent deforming elements or humps with amplitudes that are on the order of the local boundary layer height to energize the local boundary layer. DR is primarily characterized by the maximum amplitude and operating frequency.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Faceted Wing Sections for Low Reynolds Number Applications

2013-09-17
2013-01-2097
This paper documents the numerical and experimental investigation of a new type of wing section being developed at West Virginia University that shows good potential for use in wings in low Reynolds number flows. These wing sections have been designed with a minimum number of flat sides, or facets, which are arranged in such a way as to promote flow over the surface similar to traditional smooth airfoil shapes, but without the complexity of the typically highly contoured airfoil form. 2D numerical techniques have been employed to determine appropriate geometric limitations of the wing section facets, and finite span wings comprised of these faceted wing sections have been tested in wind tunnels in wing-only and wing-plus-body configurations to determine their basic aerodynamic performance. The latest results of these efforts, as well as some speculation as to the mechanisms at work are presented.
Technical Paper

Hybrid Projectile Transformation Condition Detection System for Extended Selectable Range

2013-09-17
2013-01-2203
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

2013-09-17
2013-01-2262
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

2013-09-17
2013-01-2304
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

2011-10-18
2011-01-2559
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.
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