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A Contribution to the Design of Long Endurance Mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Murat Bronz 1
1 DRONES - ENAC - Programme transverse Drones
ENAC - Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile
Abstract : This thesis shows the feasibility of designing a long endurance mini UAV without resorting to large scale vehicles which requires additional infrastructure, complex launching systems and numerous operating crew. To do so is possible by using a global optimisation approach concentrated specifically on each aspect of the mini-UAV design with their particular challenges. So called Long Endurance Mini UAV Concept has to push the limits in several disciplines such as aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, energy source and storage, control and navigation, miniaturised electronics. A conceptual design program called Cdsgn is developed which takes into account each discipline's specific problems devoted to mini UAVs and making it possible to see the influence of each design parameter on the final performance of the complete design leading to the optimum selection of parameters. Cdsgn generates and analyse numerous aircraft configurations rapidly while simulating the performance of each configuration for a given mission profile. A post processing tool is also developed in order to interactively filter and select the final design parameters among numerous analysed aircraft configurations for practical applications. The proposed program is used in the development and design of several projects, such as Solar Storm, the world's first hybrid solar powered micro UAV in half a meter scale, SPOC, a long range mini UAV which is designed to fly across the Mediterranean sea from Nice to Corsica (Calvi) and finally the Eternity, the long endurance mini UAV concept which is an electrically powered, one-meter span aircraft with a conventional configuration having an endurance of four hours with the on-board batteries which can be enhanced up to eight hours with the use of solar-cells. Using the feedback of each project, Cdsgn has been improved both for the accuracy and for the operational performance in order to develop the smallest aerial vehicle for a given endurance mission.
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Murat Bronz. A Contribution to the Design of Long Endurance Mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Automatic. Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012ESAE0025⟩. ⟨tel-00993465⟩

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