CFRP Crash Absorbers in Small UAV: Design and Optimization
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.