Development and testing of a VTOL UAV
Cibula, Andrew Lee.
Howard, Richard M.
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The purpose of this project was to develop a testing platform to prepare a Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Air Vehicle (VTOL UAV) for fully independent flight tests. Other preparations for flight included extensive engine thrust and endurance testing to fully evaluate the capabilities of the engine used. Also, redesign of the fuel system allowed more efficient use of the fuel onboard. Commands for thrust and steering data were transmitted to the VTOL UAV via an RF uplink while UAV attitude and positional data were returned by means of an umbilical cable. Throttle settings, vane control, and a kill switch were incorporated in the RP uplink. The testing platform was developed to allow the VTOL UAV to hover in a confined area with limited movement in order to accurately monitor the effectiveness of the flight control system. In this regard, the vehicle was allowed only several feet of movement in any direction by fastening it in an aluminum cubical frame designed for this purpose. This thesis was carried out in conjunction with another flight control project and was aimed at providing the vehicle a platform in which to operate within a constricted area.
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