Date

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Adviser

Moored, Keith W.

Abstract

With the miniaturization of electronics and leaps in battery energy storage technology there has been renewed interest in unmanned aerial systems (UAS). UAS present an opportunity for soldiers to enhance their situational awareness via significantly increased battlefield surveillance. The structure of a UAS is frequently fragile and requires care when handling. Additionally, many UAS use launch mechanisms that require additional training, incur a weight penalty for the soldier and use on-board energy to reach their surveillance altitude. The gun-launched UAS (GLUAS) eliminates these shortcomings by utilizing an existing gun for launch, and packaging the platform inside a round that is already a standard piece of equipment carried by the soldier.The 40 mm and 60 mm ammunition round are excellent platforms on which to develop a gun-launched UAS. Once launched, the GLUAS will rise to apogee where the outer shell will be released and the wings and propeller will deploy. There will be integrated control surfaces, an integrated autopilot and on-board cameras allowing the GLUAS to maneuver and survey the battlefield.We have developed a prototype design that lays the foundation for the successful development of a GLUAS. The prototype incorporates a multi-section, folding wing with elevons as the control surfaces. Initial flight tests of a scaled model have demonstrated that the flat-plate, low aspect ratio planform prescribed by the packaging constraints is a flight-worthy platform for this versatile surveillance package.

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