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A Compact and Agile Fixed-Wing UAS for VTOL Shipboard Operations
Title: Principal Investigator
Phone: (603) 640-2326
Phone: (603) 640-2487
TECHNICAL ABSTRACT: Commercially available unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) are not well designed to meet requirements for many atmospheric measurement applications, including deployment from ships, long endurance, and low cost. Existing multi-rotor systems suffer from limited payload and endurance. Existing fixed wing systems offer improved endurance and payload, but require significant support hardware and high-risk recovery tactics for shipboard operations, such as catching the aircraft in a net or by a wingtip-mounted arrester hook. A compact UAS with vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities is needed to meet NOAA requirements, including shipboard operations. To meet this need, Creare proposes a low cost VTOL UAS, the QuadBiplane. The wings are configured as a biplane to reduce drag and increase endurance up to a factor of two compared to a monoplane with the same wingspan. The Quad-Biplane aircraft employs a novel control method that eliminates the added weight and complexity of traditional control surfaces (e.g., elevators and ailerons) and also reduces weight by using a single propulsion system for vertical and horizontal flight. In Phase I, we demonstrated the feasibility of our proposed approach through design, analysis, and flight testing. In Phase II, we will develop, build, and demonstrate system capabilities through flight testing and shipboard testing.SUMMARY OF ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Our proposed system will enable shipboard deployment of a low-cost, fixed-wing UAS for measurement of aerosols in the atmosphere. These measurements will support numerous NOAA programs related to climate and air quality studies. The proposed fixed-wing VTOL UAS platform will also improve adoption of long-endurance sensing platforms useful for collecting data in support of weather forecast and climate models in both civilian and DoD applications. The end benefits will be improved meteorological information with reduced deployment time and operational cost.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *