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Vanderbilt Aerospace Club Rocket Launched Reconnaissance UAV 2008-2009 Design Team
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  1. Vanderbilt Aerospace ClubRocket Launched Reconnaissance UAV 2008-2009 Design Team William Runge (ME) Kyser Miree (ME) Thomas Carroll (ME) Thomas Bowden (ME) Tyler Lamb (ME) Ben Havrilesko (ME) Matt Heller (Comp-E)

  2. NASA Undergraduate Student Launch Initiative • History • The club was formed in 2006 with the objective of competing in the NASA-sponsored Undergraduate Student Launch Initiative. Funding comes from the Tennessee Space Consortium and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The USLI competition involves launching a scientific payload to an altitude of one mile. • USLI Scoring: • Technical reports on the project and its progress • Design quality of the rocket • Technical and design value of the payload • Actual flight performance on competition day • Faculty Sponsor: Prof. A.V. Anilkumar

  3. Last Year’s Project • UAV • Rotating wing mechanism for packaging inside rocket • 3° dihedral wing and self-righting aerodynamic design • Aluminum and PVC construction • 4-foot wingspan, 8” chord-length • Propeller-driven • Low-resolution imagery payload • UAV was packaged inside a foam sabot during rocket portion of flight • Rocket • 14 feet tall, 10 inches in diameter • Large payload section to accommodate UAV • Carbon fiber fins to minimize weight • Pyrotechnics for deploying parachute and UAV • Various altimeters and telemetry systems on board for post-flight recovery and analysis • Other • A highly configurable and customizable launch pad was designed and built • Project was presented at an AIAA conference and won 2nd Place in the Team Division • In the USLI Competition Launch, the rocket flew to 5,264’, according to four separate onboard altimeters, earning the team 1st place in the altitude portion of the contest. • UAV flight was only marginally successful for a variety of reasons

  4. ObjectivesRocket Launched Reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle • UAV Airplane Requirements • Design, build, and flight test a Reconnaissance UAV. • The airplane is to have a rotating wing so that it may be packaged inside the rocket • The airplane must have a strong static and dynamic stability, with self-righting flight characteristics as a corollary. • UAV is to be piloted without visual contact until landing, e.g. piloted by a user at a computer terminal viewing the outputs of various sensors and cameras onboard the aircraft. • Sensors, circuitry, and software onboard the airplane for the transmission of critical flight data, including GPS, airspeed, altitude, and accelerometry data. • The airplane will have one forward-facing camera to aid in navigation. • The airplane will have a downward-facing tilt-pan-zoom camera for reconnaissance. • Rocket Design Criteria • Design and construct a highly stable and reliable rocket appropriate to the mission • The rocket is to be compatible with the launch pad built last year for the project • The rocket will have onboard altimeters and data acquisition systems appropriate for recovery of post-flight data • Ground Systems • Design and construct the receiver appropriate for receiving flight information from the aircraft • A graphical display of critical flight data is to be provided to the pilot for navigating and operating the airplane • A co-pilot may be required to operate the forward-facing camera to aid the pilot • A payload specialist will monitor the ground systems and operate the high-resolution camera for the purpose of taking reconnaissance photographs and/or video.

  5. Questions? Visit us on the Web!