32th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences

06.2 - Flight Dynamics and Control (UAV related)


M.H. Sadraey, Southern New Hampshire University, United States

The space rockets and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) launch have been always a challenging mission and witnessed various failures in the past decades. The current traditional launch systems are employing a rail launcher at a specific launch angle; and are powered by power systems such as pneumatic, hydraulic, and rubber bungee cord. The idea is to have a hybrid launch (Figure 1) and has the potential to be developed to a new technique for launching UAVs. A couple of features are real advantage, two most important ones are the reliability and safety. However, one possible major hurdle is the possibility of achieving a speed of sound.rnTypical launch methods include: 1. Rail Launchers; 2. Rocket Launch; 3. Air Launch; 4. Hand Launch; 5. Tensioned Line Launch (i.e., catapult); 6. Gun Launch; 7. Ground-Vehicle Launch. Four most common categories of launching systems and technologies currently available are: 1. rocket assisted take-off, 2. bungee cord, 3. hydraulic launchers, and 4. pneumatic launchers.rnThe primary challenges in commercial UAV launch systems are: Safety and airworthiness, Maintainability over long periods of time, Re-usability of the vehicle, G-forces on the vehicle and astronauts, Launch setup time and duration between launches, Cost and fuel consumption, Compatibility with many variations of vehicle and payload, and Risk of damaging the UAV with initial stationary ignition.rnSimilar to other aircraft types, UAVs need means to accelerate up to a certain speed (usually slightly higher than stall speed) to be able to become airborne. All unmanned aircraft must initially take-off or be launched to become airborne. Moreover, at the end of the flight mission, they must land on an airfield, or be recovered. Launch involves transitioning the UAV from a non?ying state (e.g., stationary on the ground) to a ?ying state. In the case of a horizontal runway launch, this can be considered as a conventional takeoff. Various conventional and

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