High Performance UAV System Design Based on High Power Microturbine Technology
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45 Manning Road, Billerica, MA, 01821
AbstractA radical, high performance system design concept for UAV missions is proposed. Its characteristics derive directly from propulsion and power generation capabilities inherent in microturbine technology under development at MIT. The proposed vehicle configurations is an oblate spheroid, giving a high package volume with sufficient fuel capacity for hover duration of about one hour. Thrust from multiple microturbines is used directly for propulsion, maneuver and hover, with control implemented via pulsed on-off operation of selected engines. The result is a High Performance Aerial Vehicle (HIPERAV), carrying a large instrument package, which incorporates sensor, data transmitter, and mission/vehicle control functions. This is conceived as an interchangeable plug-in unit, with programmable capability. Electrical power is taken from one or more of the propultion turbines, resulting in very high power for data transmission. This implies both a high data rate capability, and potential for satallite interfacing, despite the limited antenna size and efficiency. Specific approaches for implementation of this concept, and their mission and vehicle implications are outlined in the proposal. Based on this, a preliminary system definition study of vehicle and mission utilization is proposed. It will address mission and hardware interpendence, and define key technology limitations requiring Phase II development.
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