‘Switchblade’: Wide-Mission Performance Design of a Multi-Variant Unmanned Aerial System

Victor Maldonado, Dioser Santos, Mitchell Wilt, Darius Ramirez, Wolduamlak Ayele, Bruce Beeson, Blake Lisby, Jerimiah Zamora, Corbin Antu, Justin Shoemaker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Reconfigurable systems are meant to provide users with increased flexibility, while enabling reduced manufacturing costs due to the use of shared parts between system variants. This paper aims to present the conceptual design of a family of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), known as ’Switchblade’, developed for wide multi-mission capability. Four UAV variants are designed for distinct flight performance: low-speed high endurance (LSHE), high-speed long range (HSLR), and vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) enabled variants of each. Module commonality is maximized in order to reduce complexity and development costs. The design approach employs the concept of ’parent-variants,’ which drives design and performance analysis for all variants. This is illustrated in the paper with specific examples of propulsion and longitudinal stability analysis. Preliminary computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of the aerodynamic characteristics of the LSHE and HSLR variants were carried out. The results suggest that the computed lift-to-drag ratios, L/D between the CFD results and the analytical approximations using finite wing theory are in reasonable agreement.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2021 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
Pages1-13
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781624106095
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
EventAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jan 11 2021Jan 15 2021

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2021 Forum

Conference

ConferenceAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Period01/11/2101/15/21

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