A New Tilt-Arm Transitioning Unmanned Aerial Vehicle: Introduction and Conceptual Design

C Zeng, Rosa Abnous, Souma Chowdhury, Victor Maldonado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, a novel hybrid unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) concept is developed. This<br>UAV is capable of transitioning between VTOL, hover, and efficient (fixed-wing type) forward<br>flight. The overall configuration comprises a blended-wing-body, with two rotor arms mounted<br>at the two wing tips using span-wise shafts; the arms can rotate about the span-wise axis, and<br>each contains two propellers at its two ends. A conceptual design automation framework is<br>developed, comprising mass and balance analysis, aerodynamic analysis and optimization. Vortex<br>Lattice Method (VLM) is used to perform the aerodynamic analysis. Furthermore, using<br>wind distribution models, redundancy modeling, and probabilistic UAV airspeed constraints<br>derived thereof, a robust design optimization formulation is presented to explore the mission<br>envelop flexibility of this new hybrid UAV. Mixed-discrete Particle Swarm Optimization is used<br>to identify optimum geometry and component choices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
StatePublished - Feb 12 2020

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