SEARCH & RESCUE UAV: AN OPTIMIZED DESIGN
In this work, a conceptual design of a new configuration for a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone, with three distinct flight modes (cruise, hover, and transition), is proposed. The drone is sized to meet mission objectives typical for a search and rescue operation and modelled in Surfaces, an aircraft modelling software, to validate its sizing and compute its stability/aerodynamic coefficients. A 3D model of the drone during the different flight modes is generated in Catia V5 and a nonlinear mathematical model of the drone in cruise mode (forward flight) is determined using Newton’s laws. A linearized model of the drone in forward flight is derived from the nonlinear model, about a trim altitude, and its flying qualities assessed. The inherent transient behavior of the drone is improved by implementing a stability augmentation system or feedback loop. Four autopilot systems are designed and tested on the linear drone model and finally implemented on the nonlinear model. The nonlinear model of the drone and autopilots are tested by simulating the flight of the drone through a set of lateral waypoints, representing victims in need of emergency assistance in a search and rescue mission.
- Master of Science
- Mechanical Engineering
- West Lafayette