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Design and Development of Tube-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Authors:

Abstract

Tube-Launched UAV with folding tandem wing configuration has great potential for military applications since there is an urgent need to have UAV that could be easily transported and deployed. This UAV was designed to have tandem wing configuration with approximately 50 ft in span and capable to be folded into 5 inch tubular pneumatic launcher. When the UAV is launched from the tube, the wings will rapidly expand and the UAV will autonomously fly with a cruising speed of approximately 25 m/s. The airframe of the UAV was constructed by lightweight material such as carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP), aluminum, and plywood. This tube launched folding wing UAV was equipped with a camera as the payload for certain autonomous monitoring mission. The main focus of this paper is to present the general design process starting from design requirements, initial sizing, structural and aerodynamic analysis, folding mechanism, electrical system architecture, and pneumatic launcher design. Furthermore, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation was conducted to predict the aerodynamic characteristics of the UAV. The results of the flight testing showed that the UAV was very stable and it achieved flight endurance of approximately 30 minutes. This paper presents the overall design process, analysis of UAV characteristics and the discussion of flight test data log.
ICIUS 2018, Jeju, South Korea Paper ID=P00010
Design and Development of Tube-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
A. Fadlillah M.1*, Nurhayyan H. Rosid1, M. Hanif 2 , N. Fadel2, Nathan1, Tobias S.1, Tegar S.2, M. Agoes
Moelyadi3, Agus Budiyono3, 4
1) Faculty of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, ITB,Indonesia
2) School of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, ITB, Bandung, Indonesia
3)Center for Unmanned System Studies (CentrUMS),ITB, Bandung, Indonesia
4)Bhimasena Research and Technology, Sumedang, Indonesia
1* fadli_muzzamil@students.itb.ac.id / fadlilahmuzzamil@gmail.com
Abstract-Tube-Launched UAV with folding tandem wing
configuration has great potential for military applications since
there is an urgent need to have UAV that could be easily
transported and deployed. This UAV was designed to have
tandem wing configuration with approximately 50 ft in span
and capable to be folded into 5 inchtubularpneumatic launcher.
When the UAV is launched from the tube, the wings
willrapidly expand and the UAV will autonomously fly with a
cruising speed of approximately25 m/s. The airframe of the
UAV was constructed by lightweight material such as carbon
fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP), aluminum, and plywood.
This tube launched folding wing UAV was equipped
with a camera as the payload for certain autonomous
monitoring mission. The main focus of this paper is to present
the general design process starting from design requirements,
initial sizing, structural and aerodynamicanalysis,
folding mechanism, electrical system architecture, and
pneumatic launcher design. Furthermore, a computational fluid
dynamics (CFD) simulation wasconducted to predict the
aerodynamic characteristics of the UAV. The results
of theflight testing showed that the UAV was very stable and
it achieved flight endurance of approximately 30 minutes. This
paper presents the overall design process, analysis of UAV
characteristics and the discussion of flight test data log.
Keywords: tube launched UAV, Folding Wing UAV, tandem
wing UAV, compact UAV design
I. INTRODUCTION
nmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) have wide
purpose and can perform various missions
such as monitoring, exploring, and military mission
[1]. There are several challenges in UAV
development and application including transporting
and deploying the UAV. Most UAVs take too much
space to be carried before it is launched and finishes
the mission. It is also time consuming for user to
assembly and launch the UAV [2][6]. Especially in
military application, there is an urgent need of
easily transported and deployed UAV.
Tube launched folding wing UAV is a concept
that can solve the problem on easily transported and
quickly launched UAV [3]. It provides the
opportunity to launch UAV in difficult field and
bring flexibility on launching the UAV instead of
using specific launcher for specific field. The UAV
is packed in a tube and then user can launch the
UAV so the UAV come out from the tube [4]. The
development of the tube launched folding wing
UAV in this paper uses tandem wing configuration.
This paper will also provide analysis of the UAV on
stability, fluid dynamics, and also the performance
of the UAV after several flight testings.
II. DESIGN REQUIREMENT & OBJECTIVES
TABLE I DESIGN REQUIREMENT AND OBJECTIVES
Specification
DRO
Type
Fixed Wing
Take off method
Hand Launch / Tube-Launch
Landing method
Belly Landing
Carrier / packaging
Able to put inside PVC pipe 6
inch
Flight mode
manual, Semi-auto, Fully
Autonomous
Cruise speed
25 m/s
Operating altitude
60 - 200 m
Endurance time
up tp 30 minutes
MTOW
4 Kg
Wingspan
1.5 m
U
ICIUS 2018, Jeju, South Korea Paper ID=P00010
III. COMPARATIVE STUDY
Before determining the detailed configuration,
it is necessary to look for comparison on other UAV.
We chose 2 options that presented in table below.
TABLE II COMPARATIVE STUDY
Specificatio
n
Coyote
Weight (kg)
5.89
Wingspan
(m)
1.47
Endurance
(min)
120
Top Speed
(m/s)
28.3
Launching
Canister Launched
Image
IV. WEIGHT ESTIMATION
The maximum take off weight (MTOW) of the UAV
based on the DRO is 4 kg. The overall weight is
classified into four main components including airframe,
avionics, payload, and propulsion. The UAV airframe
takes the highest portion of overall weight which consists
of wing, spar, folding mechanism fuselage, tail, and
other structures as shown in figure 1. The structural parts
are produced using CFRP (wing), GFRP (fuselage and
tail), aluminum (spar and folding mechanism), and high
density foam to maintain the shape of the structural parts.
The electronic system of the UAV includes battery,
autopilot, servo, GPS, telemetry transmitter, video
transmitter, and R/C receiver. Furthermore, the payload
and propulsion used are respectively a camera and an
electric motor.
Fig. 1 UAV Weight Distribution
V. INITIAL SIZING
The UAV must satisfy the requirements that it
has to be able to be folded into a tubular package or
launcher within a circular diameter of 6 in. This
leads to a tandem wing with expandable wing UAV
configuration as shown in figure 2. The tandem
wing configuration can increase the lifting surface
area (wings) whereas a compact design can be
achieved by using folding wing configuration. By
paying attention to the geometrical constraints and
several design considerations, the initial sizing of
the UAV prototype can be seen on Table IV.
Fig. 2 (a) Folded Condition (b) Transition Condition (c)
Expanded Condition
TABLE III INITIAL SIZING
Definition
Value
Length L
1124 mm
Chord Length c1
100 mm
Chord Length c2
100 mm
Canard Span b1
1318 mm
Wing Span b2
1508 mm
Vertical Stabilizer h
300 mm
Canard-Wing LE distance d
635 mm
Canard-Wing Gap (Left) yL
75 mm
Canard-Wing Gap (Right) yR
75 mm
Left-Right Lifting Surfaces
Vertical Gap yS
11 mm
Distance between vertical
stabilizers
118 mm
Canard Airfoil
NACA 8408
Wing Airfoil
NACA 8408
Vertical Stabilizer Airfoil
NACA 0010
MTOW
4 kg
Cruise Speed
25 m/s
Altitude
100 m
Fig. 3 UAV 3D Model
Payload
10%
Avionics
25%
Airframe
50%
Propulsion
15%
(
(
(
ICIUS 2018, Jeju, South Korea Paper ID=P00010
Fig. 4 Elevon Control System
VI. AERODYNAMICS ANALYSIS
A. Airfoil Selection
A low reynold number airfoils from NACA 4-series
and Miley were chosen as candidate for sectional wing
configuration.
Fig. 5 Airfoil Comparison
B. Stability Characteristic Prediction
In order to analyze the stability characteristic of the
UAV, a simple estimation was conducted using XFLR5.
It is free open source software, developed and distributed
under General Public License, GNU [7]. It can provide a
quick estimation of idealized aircraft model consisting
wing, tail, and fuselage. In this study, a full configuration
of UAV with simple model was defined to be analyzed
in XFLR as shown in figure 6.
Fig. 6 XLFR Full Configuration
Fig. 7 Root Locus
Figure 7 represents both longitudinal and lateral
stability in term of root locus diagram. The lateral
stability has two symmetric dutch roll modes, one roll
damping mode and one spiral mode. In addition, the
longitudinal stability has two symmetric phugoid modes,
and two symmetric short period modes[5]. Based on the
presented root locus analysis, the UAV is characterized
to be stable in both longitudinal and lateral mode.
C. CFD Analysis
The aerodynamic characteristics of the UAV was
analyzed using high fidelity software : Ansys CFX. The
Ansys CFX solver uses Reynold Averaging Navier-
Stokes (RANS) for solving the numerical model.
The 3D geometry file was imported to ANSYS CFX
Mesher to conduct the discretization of the model. In
CFX-Pre, the boundary conditions are defined with its
respective properties such as inlet, wall, opening, and
outlet. After the simulation setup was done, the CFX
solver started to solve the numerical model. Figure 8 and
9 show the CL vs. Angle of attack and the drag polar,
respectively.
Fig. 8 CL vs Angle of Attack
-0.5
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
-10 -5 0 5 10 15
Cl
Alpha [deg]
NACA 8408
NACA 6408
MILEY M06 -13-128
-0.8
-0.6
-0.4
-0.2
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
-11 -9 -7 -5 -3 -1 1
IMAGINER
REAL
Longitudinal Stability Lateral Stability
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
-4 -2 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
CL
Angle of Attack (deg)
ICIUS 2018, Jeju, South Korea Paper ID=P00010
Fig. 9 CL vs CD
VII. AVIONICS SYSTEM
The system is powered by LiPo battery 4S 6200
mAH. It uses autopilot board Pixhawk as flight
controller. The propulsion uses brushless DC motor.
The communication system uses 2 different
frequency for flight data and remote control data
from pilot command.
Fig. 10 Avionics System Architecture
The power distribution between autopilot and
actuator is separated to prevent back EMF that can
affect other component. With this configuration, the
UAV can flight autonomous with certain Ground
Control Station software in user PC.
VIII. DETAILED DESIGN
The following figures show the internal layout
and the folding mechanism of the wing. The folding
mechanism involves a torsional spring to deploy the
wings. The mechanism is designed in such way that
would enable the wing to be extended quickly using
the force from the torsional spring [2].
Fig. 11 Internal Layout
Fig. 12 Folding Mechanism
IX. TESTING
Several flight tests had been successfully
conducted in order to check and verify performance
of the UAV. Some results of the flight test
performance have also been recorded based on data
flash log from UAV flight controller as shown in
(Figure ).
Fig. 13 Flight Test
Based on the flight tests data, we get several
results of performance of the UAV as stated
below.
The maximum airspeed measured is 100 km/h
Climb rate is up to 150 m / minutes
Stall speed of the UAV approximately 45 km/h
for 3 kg take-off weight
Maximum relative altitude reach is about 160
meters.
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
CL
CD
ICIUS 2018, Jeju, South Korea Paper ID=P00010
Longest flight time is around 26 minutes nonstop
in autonomous mode from battery level 16.7 Volts
until 14.8 Volts.
Fig. 14 Flight Test Data Log
Fig. 15 Flight Test Log Data : Navigation
The flight test came up with slight problem
when fly on autonomous mode. The guidance is
unstable. After analysis on data log, we found that
the unconventional UAV configuration need
improvement on a parameter at autopilot. This is
because the UAV is so agile that the target bearing,
a measurement to give UAV direction on
autonomous mode and nav bearing, the actual
bearing value is so distinct. The phenomenon is
shown in figure 15. Authors solved the problem by
reconfigure the value of navigation parameter.
We successfully improved the development of
the UAV iteratively by overcoming several
emerging problems such as lateral-directional
stability of the UAV, attitude control tuning, and
guidance path tuning in autonomous mission of the
UAV by analyzing the flight test performance and
data.
X. CONCLUDING REMARKS
Based on result and analysis data, entire DRO
hav been achieved. The UAV also had been tested
and performed stable flight. The improvement can
be focused on the launching mechanism and
mission fulfillment
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
This work was supported by Aksantara UAV
research group and funded by ITB.
REFERENCES
[1] Gao Liang, Cangle Lie, Zhao Jie, Hegao Cai, et all.
Aerodynamic Characterization of a Novel Catapult
Launched Morphing Tandem-Wing UAV. Advance
in Mechanical Engineering. SAGE Publishing. 2017.
[2] Tao Tony S., Hansman R. John. Development of In-
Flight-Deployable Micro-UAV. Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Cambride, MA, 2012
[3] Bawa Singh Gursimat, Design, Development and
Testing of Tube Launched UAV. University of
Sydney. Sydney. 2016.
[4] Biezad, Daniel. Design of a Tube-Launched UAV.
AIAA 3rd Unmanned Unlimited Technical
Conference. USA. 2004.
[5] Muhammad, Hari and Yazdie Ibrahim Jenie. Diktat
Kuliah: Dinamika Terbang. Bandung : ITB 2011.
[6] Jacob D. Jamey, Smith W. Suzanne. Design
Limitation of Deployable for Small Low Altitude
UAVs. Florida. 47th AIAA Forum. 2009.
[7] Anshori Imron, Sufendi, Haris Luqman, Sapudin Pepi,
Budiyarto Aris, Budiyono Agus. Design and
Analysis of Modular Deployment Autonomous
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System Technology. Bhimasena RnD, Sumedang.
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This paper mainly focuses on a series of dynamic problems caused by a small folding wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with a parachute system assisted launched from the high-altitude balloon platform. The simulation contents are the four-stage motion processes of the “parachute-UAV system” after separation from the balloon platform, including the straightening stage, the inflation process, the stable descend under the influence of the wing deployment action, and the trajectory leveling of the UAV. The “parachute-UAV system” is equivalent to a multi rigid body connection structure. We introduce the straightening length parameter and the wing deployment angles based on the Kane method to establish the dynamic model. And we choose the inflation time method to simulate the parachute deployment process and the flat plate high angle of attack model to describe the wing aerodynamic force. In the simulation, we compare six launching processes of different wing deployment time periods and obtain the separation state of each UAV when cut from the parachute. We adopt the Radau Pseudo-Spectral method to calculate the leveling trajectory of six UAVs. This paper is an engineering application research study and can provide a simulation reference for the launching test of the balloon-borne folding wing UAV system.
Article
Full-text available
In open field operations, such as in the isolated mountainous area, the need of small, compact, and portable surveillance system is inevitable [7]. It is to give the team a surveillance capability while reducing carried-load significantly. This system is a portable mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with its mobile Ground Control Systems included. Within this paper, the general design processes are presented from determining DRO, initial sizing, aerodynamics analysis, structure, mechanism, backpack design until flight testing to validate the design. Some simple simulations by XFLR5 and complex simulation CFD are also conducted to predict the aerodynamics characteristic of UAV. Outdoor flight testing has been conducted and also still on progress for further results
Aerodynamic Characterization of a Novel Catapult Launched Morphing Tandem-Wing UAV. Advance in Mechanical Engineering
  • Gao Liang
  • Cangle Lie
  • Zhao Jie
  • Hegao Cai
Gao Liang, Cangle Lie, Zhao Jie, Hegao Cai, et all. Aerodynamic Characterization of a Novel Catapult Launched Morphing Tandem-Wing UAV. Advance in Mechanical Engineering. SAGE Publishing. 2017.
Design, Development and Testing of Tube Launched UAV
  • Bawa Singh
Bawa Singh Gursimat, Design, Development and Testing of Tube Launched UAV. University of Sydney. Sydney. 2016.
Design of a Tube-Launched UAV
  • Daniel Biezad
Biezad, Daniel. Design of a Tube-Launched UAV. AIAA 3rd Unmanned Unlimited Technical Conference. USA. 2004.
Design Limitation of Deployable for Small Low Altitude UAVs. Florida. 47 th AIAA Forum
  • Jacob D Jamey
  • Smith W Suzanne
Jacob D. Jamey, Smith W. Suzanne. Design Limitation of Deployable for Small Low Altitude UAVs. Florida. 47 th AIAA Forum. 2009.