Missile demonstrator for counter UAV applications
Rydalch, Fletcher D.
Brophy, Christopher M.
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An autonomously guided rocket-powered delivery vehicle has been under development at the Naval Postgraduate School. Designed to eventually counter UAV swarm attacks, the vehicle made advances toward reaching a target in the sky. These advances reduced the time needed to launch, modify, and relaunch the rocket, while adding capabilities such as data transfer along the vehicle axis and the rapid download of flight data. Improving the vehicle included reconfiguring the guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) strategy. Advancements included the design, implementation, and evaluation of electronic servo control, actuating fins, and the mechanical coupling design. The forward compartment in the vehicle’s nose cone was structurally modified for the GNC equipment and to support electronics under high-g launch conditions. Modifications included innovative designs for managing heat transfer requirements. Using off-the-shelf subsystem components kept the advancements fiscally mindful. After implementing the design features, two final test launches were performed: one demonstrated a control spin rate of 8.5 rad/sec; the other showed the vehicle’s ability to execute pitch maneuvers on a single axis. The test results can be used to improve the GNC software and servo control parameters. Continued development will allow the system to become a viable option for countering UAV swarms.
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