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Design, optimization and flight testing of a micro air vehicle

Publication Date
  • Tl Motor Vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
  • Design
  • Mathematics


Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) are a new type of aircraft maturing every year. The first mission-capable MAVs are already available on the market. Similarly to larger UAVs, MAVs may be used in a variety of applications, both military and civilian, such as situational awareness, reconnaissance, data relay, air sampling etc. This study describes the development of a method for rapid design and optimization based on some basic preliminary design parameters. Low aspect ratio (LAR) wing theory and experimental data by Mueller and Torres have been used to analytically predict the performance of the MAV. This has also been validated by the author’s wind tunnel experiments, also described in this thesis. The results of the wind tunnel experiments are presented. Performance of the propulsion system (motor, propeller, battery, speed controller) was evaluated using other commercially available tools. The design optimization concerns the wing geometry under certain constraints applied by the user. The design optimization code, which is based on Genetic Algorithms, was written in MATLAB. As a conclusion to the project, a prototype was built and successfully test flown, which proved the feasibility of the developed method. A detailed description of the manufacture and testing of the prototype is also included in this thesis.

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