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VAST AUAV (Variable AirSpeed Telescoping Additive Unmanned Air Vehicle)

Author(s)/Editor(s): Michael M Stern, Eli Cohen

Pages in Print Edition: 16PP

Published: 03/01/2013
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~ 2013 RTAM/SME Dick Aubin Distinguished Paper ~

A low-cost, highly flexible and modular Variable AirSpeed Telescoping wing Additive manufactured Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VAST AUAV) for atmospheric sensing is presented. A novel aerodynamic design was realized with a lightweight, efficient additive manufactured (AM) mechanical structure to meet performance requirements. The aerodynamic design features telescoping wings to permit both dash and loiter flight depending on the exposed wing area and airfoil. The aircraft structure was primarily fused deposition modeling (FDM) ABS-M30 with supplemental carbon fiber spars and commercial off the shelf (COTS) fasteners. The total weight of the aircraft was 7

lb (3.2 kg) with a maximum wingspan of 80 in. (2 m). The structure was designed to be easily assembled using only standard hand tools. The modular design permits rapid reconfiguration of the aircraft and the ability to swap payload while simplifying replacement of damaged parts, even in the field. Focus on frangible design prevents widespread damage and minimizes rebuild in the case of failure. Several test flights were completed demonstrating the structural integrity of the AM parts and the success of the overall design. (This work is sponsored by the United States Air Force under Air Force contract number FA8721-05-C-002. The opinions, interpretations, recommendations, and conclusions are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States Government.) Presented at: Rapid 2013 Conference and Exposition, Including 3D Imaging, SME, June 10-13, 2013, Pittsburgh, PA.