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Vanderbilt University Rocket Launched Reconnaissance UAV. AIAA Presentation. 2008-2009 NASA USLI Competition Team . Team Roster. Advisors Professor Dr. A.V. Anilkumar Safety Officer Robin Midgett Rocket Technical Advisors Rodney McMillan (NAR II, LEU/D) Russell Bruner (NAR III)

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Vanderbilt University

Rocket Launched Reconnaissance UAV

AIAA Presentation

2008-2009 NASA USLI Competition Team

slide2

Team Roster

  • Advisors
    • Professor Dr. A.V. Anilkumar
    • Safety Officer Robin Midgett
  • Rocket Technical Advisors
    • Rodney McMillan (NAR II, LEU/D)
    • Russell Bruner (NAR III)
  • UAV Technical Advisors
    • Charles Waterston (Music City Aviators R/C Club, President)
    • Randy Moore (Test Pilot)
  • Students

William Runge

Kyser Miree

Thomas Bowden

Tyler Lamb

Ben Havrilesko

Matt Heller

Thomas Carroll

Ty Barringer

Ryan Taylor

Zach Smith

Erin McManus

Ben Chociej

Haziq Mazlan

slide3

Mission Statement

  • The goal of the 2009 Vanderbilt University Student Launch Initiative is to design, build, test, and successfully launch a rocket-deployed reconnaissance UAV.
  • The UAV must be flown from a computer terminal to an area of interest and collect high resolution images as well as thermal data.
  • The project is motivated in part by the DARPA Rapid Eye project, which seeks to deploy a reconnaissance UAV from an InterContinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) for rapid-deployment reconnaissance in the visual and infrared spectra.

DARPA RapidEye: Concept Image

Vanderbilt Aerospace Club: 3-15-09 Test Launch

project summary
Project Summary
  • A 16’-tall, 10”-diameter rocket carries a small UAV to altitude
  • At altitude, the UAV is deployed from the rocket, packaged inside a protective foam sabot
  • Once deployed, the UAV is controlled by two operators at a pair of ground station computers
    • Pilot flies and navigates the aircraft by monitoring a graphic user interface which provides data from a wide array of sensors onboard the UAV.
    • Payload specialist operates a high-resolution camera and infrared thermometer on a tilt-pan Gimbal.
  • After conducting a reconnaissance mission, the UAV is navigated back to the ground station, where it is landed visually.
rocket summary
Rocket Summary
  • The rocket is designed and built specifically for the purpose of deploying a UAV
  • 10” in diameter, 16’-tall
  • In-house carbon-fiber fins replace conventional plywood fins to reduce weight
  • 8’-tall payload section will house the UAV
  • Specialized triple deployment scheme facilitates safe deployment of UAV and parachutes
payload integration
Payload Integration
  • The UAV is packaged inside the payload tube
  • A foam sabot protects the UAV during launch and deployment
  • Black powder charges eject the sabot, which will then fall away to release the UAV
  • Folding propeller and control surfaces allow the UAV to be packaged inside the sabot
slide7

Rocket Thrust Simulation

Rocket Stability Diagram

  • Motor: Aerotech M1939W
  • Thrust: 10339.8 N-sec Total Impulse (1477 N avg)
  • Liftoff Weight: 93 lb
  • Rail Exit Velocity: 60 ft/s (Rocksim, 16’-rail)
  • CP: 157.0” from nose
  • CG: 129.8” from nose
  • Stability Margin: 2.72 calibers
  • Thrust to Weight Ratio: 3.38 (M1939W)

Motor Thrust Curve

Rocket Flight Simulation

slide8

Deployment and Recovery

  • Redundant altimeters and charges for each deployment.
  • Black powder charge sizes experimentally verified via ground deployment testing.
  • Verified during March 15 full scale test launch

* The weight of the payload section decreases by 6.5 lbs when the UAV is deployed.

** This calculation neglects drag on the body/fins/nose of the rocket. Actual descent rates can be expected to be somewhat slower.

slide9

Rocket Flight Testing

  • A full-scale test launch was performed on March 15
  • Rocket flew a M1297W to an altitude of 1871 ft (RockSim predicted 2000ft)
  • Observations
    • Shear pin failure due to excessively large drogue parachute
    • Foam sabot needs to be reinforced
  • UAV was deployed at 700’
    • Wing Rotated
    • V-Tails folded forward
    • Deployment and Recovery a success
rocket verification plan
Rocket Verification Plan

1. RockSim design work

COMPLETE

2. Parachute sizing, deployment charge sizing

COMPLETE

3. Ground testing– altimeter testing, deployment testing, fin material load testing

COMPLETE

4. Full scale flight test (March 15th)

COMPLETE

slide11

Payload Summary: Reconnaissance UAV

[Competition UAV]

  • Completely designed and built in house from scratch
  • Onboard flight computer
  • Sophisticated sensory array
  • Rotating wing (58” span)
  • Folding Propeller
  • Folding V-Tail
  • 8.5 lb overall weight
  • Piloted remotely from a pair of computers
analytical design work
Analytical Design Work
  • Profili Wing Comparison/Selection
    • NACA 4415 Airfoil Selected for UAV
    • Selection based on desired flight regime and handling characteristics, and ease of fabrication.
  • Fluent CFD Finite Wing Studies
    • Tip pressure losses investigated
    • Vortex formation examined
    • CL, CD verified for approach and cruise configurations
  • ProE/ProMechanica Loading Studies
    • Used to identify areas of heavy loading, where increased strength is required.
    • Used to identify areas of lesser loading, where weight may be reduced.
slide13

First Proof of Concept UAV

  • Demonstrated design theory
  • Demonstrated fabrication methods
  • Conventional small aircraft design
    • Conventional tail
    • Fixed landing gear
    • Not capable of fitting inside the rocket
  • Equipped with a single analog camera
  • Designed and built in-house
  • Ground Testing Complete
  • Flight Testing Complete
slide14

Second Proof of Concept UAV

  • Demonstrated design theory
  • for Competition UAV
  • Demonstrated fabrication methods
  • Designed to fit inside the rocket
    • Retractable landing gear
    • Rotating wing mechanism
    • Folding V-Tails
    • Folding Propeller
  • No significant payload
  • Designed and built in-house
  • Ground Testing Complete
  • Flight Testing Complete
  • Successfully launched and
  • deployed from Rocket
design fabrication improvements for the competition uav
Design/Fabrication ImprovementsFor the Competition UAV
  • Further Weight Reduction
    • Exotic Materials
    • Aluminum and fiberglass fasteners
    • Honeycomb cutout of foam wing core
  • Lost Foam (Mold Removal)
  • ProMechanica
    • Composite Materials Selection
    • Spar Design
  • Balsa caps to secure hinges
    • Improved control surface reliability
    • Internal hinge design reduces drag
  • Internal mounting improvements
    • More secure mounting for SBC and PCB
    • Need flexibility for CG placement with minimum ballast
wind tunnel testing competition uav
Wind Tunnel TestingCompetition UAV
  • Exact 1/6th scale model of UAV has been fabricated using a Rapid Prototyping Machine
  • Model has been coated with body filler to form smooth surfaces
  • Model has been assembled and fitted to the Sting in the wind tunnel
  • Wind Tunnel testing is underway
  • Testing will establish:
    • Loss of lift resulting from fuselage interference with wing
    • Drag resulting from fuselage, V-tails, interference, etc.
slide17

UAV Electronics Single-Board Computer and Related Subsystems

  • Single-Board Computer
    • Surveillance camera
    • Infrared thermometer
    • GPS receiver
    • Interfaces to microcontrollers
  • Custom PCB
    • Linear accelerometer (3 axes)
    • Angle roll-rate sensor (3 axes)
    • Altimeter
    • Pitot-static
    • PWM output for servos
    • Multiplexer for standby/WiFi

switching

  • Standalone Systems
    • Forward-Facing Camera
    • Standby GPS
    • Ballistic Recovery System

Surveillance systems: IR Thermometer and Reconnaissance Camera on Tilt-Pan Gimbal

electronics testing
Electronics Testing
  • 8’ wingspan Telemaster was flown with forward facing camera, GPS, and on-board computer
  • WiFi has been tested for short range reliability
  • PWM controller has been controlled by the SBC via WiFi signal from ground station hardware
  • Ground Station antenna array is assembled and has been tested for functionality
ground station schematic
Ground Station Schematic

Ground Station Consists of:

  • Wifi dish and uplink to UAV
  • Analog Receivers for video feed from NAVCAM and R-CAM
  • Pilot’s station: laptop and flight controller
  • Payload Specialist’s station: laptop and camera controller
  • Path Loss Calculations
    • Wifi range: 10 miles
    • NAVCAM range: 9 miles
    • R-CAM range: 7 miles
    • Standby GPS Range: 20 miles
uav verification plan
UAV Verification Plan

1. First Proof of Concept UAV………………………………………………………………………………….COMPLETE

Demonstrates design and fabrication methodology

2. Analytical Design Work…………………………………………………………………………....….…………..COMPLETE

Fluent, ProMechanica, Profili

3. Computer Aided Design…………………………………………………………………………………………COMPLETE

ProEngineer

.

4. Second Proof of Concept UAV……………………………………………..................................…….COMPLETE

Demonstrates deployment from Rocket

Serves as a backup to the Competition UAV

5. Experimental Model Studies……………………………………………………………………………...…..UNDERWAY

Wind Tunnel Testing

6. Ground-Test the Electronics suite and camera systems………….………..UNDERWAY

7. Flight-Test the Electronics suite and camera systems…………………..……UNDERWAY

8. Competition UAV………………………………………………………………………………………………..…….……..UNDERWAY

Refined version of 2nd Proof of Concept. Reduced weight, various

Design enhancements, increased wingspan.

9. Flight test UAV with full payload Electronics………………………………………….…….PENDING

10. Flight Test Full System……………………………............………………………………………………………PENDING

conclusion
Conclusion
  • Rocket Progress
    • Essentially complete
    • Small modifications will be made to shear pins, sabot
    • Proven as reliable launch vehicle
  • UAV Progress
    • First Proof of Concept UAV designed, analyzed, fabricated, and tested
    • Second Proof of Concept UAV designed, analyzed, fabricated, and tested
    • Competition UAV designed, analyzed, fabrication underway
  • UAV Electronics Suite
    • Design complete, assembly underway
    • Ground and flight testing underway