Design Specifications

Milestone 4 - Final Design and Configuration

Mk 4 Design Specifications

  • Gross Weight: 5.51 lbs [2.5 kg]
  • Cruise Speed: 33 mph [14.7 m/s]
  • Wing Span:      47.2 in   [1.2   m]

MK-4 was structurally very similar to MK-3. The size of the UAV was not changed. Small changes were made to the core structure in order to allow for easier mounting of the EDFs and better airflow over that region. The largest change was the addition of a second motor, with the motor mounting locations moved onto the wings. This allowed for a centrally-placed camera. Finally, the camera was mounted to be adjustable during operation, allowing for a forward-facing orientation for flight and a downward-pointing position for landing.

Milestone 3

Mk 3 Design Specifications

  • Gross Weight: 5.51 lbs [2.5 kg]
  • Cruise Speed: 44 mph  [19.7 m/s]
  • Wing Span:      39.4 in   [1.0   m]
  • Range:             11 mi     [17.7 km]

The MK-3 design was a redesign of MK2, with an emphasis on reducing size in order to increase range and flight time.

Milestone 2

We recently went through a redesign to reduce the size, weight, and complexity of our vehicle.  This was accomplished by switching our lift fans to electric ducted fan (EDF) systems, which allowed us to remove the tail entirely, taking us from a conventional tractor design (as seen in the video) to a flying wing. This design requires some new components, but will hopefully address some of the concerns from the UAVForge community regarding the packing requirement.

Mk 2 Design Specifications

  • Gross Weight: 9.92 lbs [4.51 kg]
  • Cruise Speed: 40 mph  [17.9 m/s]
  • Wing Span:      55.1 in   [1.4   m]
  • Range:              40 mi     [64.4 km]

While a flying wing design is less forgiving of manufacturing defects, we believe that our build team is fully capable of producing a test vehicle within our tolerances.

Here’s the first build up of the new design!


Milestone 1  Designs and Configurations

Mk 1 Design Specifications

  • Gross Weight: 9.92 lbs [4.51 kg]
  • Cruise Speed: 30 mph  [13.4 m/s]
  • Wing Span:      63.0 in   [1.6   m]
  • Range:              30 mi     [48.3 km]

Throughout our design process, we kept two things in mind regarding our vehicle design: (1) it must be able to complete all mission phases and (2) we must be able to manufacture and perform our first flight within 3 months.

Conceptual Designs and Configurations

With such a condensed timeline, we got started right away with a conceptual design meeting. Despite sharing similar design experiences, it was startling the number of different ideas we generated. These designs included a flying wing, a tail-sitter, a tilt-rotor, a quad-rotor, and of course, the tractor design that we present to you in our concept video. We expected that the successful completion of each mission phase would require some design compromises. The less conventional designs would mean significantly altering existing autopilot software. The tail-sitter would be problematic during the surveillance portion of the mission. The quad-rotor presented a problem in making the 2 mile journey to and from our surveillance site. The tilt-rotor added complexity without significant benefits. We saw that a good compromise for these issues was a tractor design with embedded lift fans. With conventional control surfaces, separate motors matched for our different flight regimes, and relatively simple manufacturing process, we knew we would have a chance of making it to our first flight within 90 days.

Design Refinement

Engineering is a dynamic process, and we have a design (and a talented team) that can keep up. With our first tests, we ran into some issues that have since been resolved. We completed analysis on our first few iterations and know that we are heading towards a strong solution to the problem set forth by UAVforge.

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