Extended Range Tactical Resupply Using Tailless UAV
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An alternative approach for precision aerial delivery utilizing a ﬂying wing for controllable forward glide is presented. Although effective, current delivery methods either display a lack of control, or require close standoff distances, potentially endangering aircraft personnel as well as bystanders. Hardware-in-the-loop simulations provide an efﬁcient method for evaluating various wing designs and actuation conﬁgurations. Four control surface conﬁgurations are presented and evaluated, encompassing traditional aircraft and ram-air parafoil control approaches. Fixed-wing and multirotor unmanned aircraft-basedﬂight tests were conducted to evaluate the controllability and handling performance of the various conﬁgurations of both a ﬁxed wing model and a model with collapsing wings. A manufacturing process was developed to allow repeatable results in the ﬁeld using cheap, mostly disposable materials. A powered ﬂying wing model was used to maximize data collection in later stages of software development. Data collected during ﬂight tests was used to create a model of the system and develop a Nonlinear Dynamic Inversion controller for autonomous ﬂight. The NDI controller was able to provide stable ﬂight in pitch, but will need more development to control yaw, instead an intentional bias was built in to show proof of concept for direct yaw control. The results demonstrate the feasibility of the ﬂying wing-based aerial delivery; however, signiﬁcant challenges remain regarding the stability and scalability of the system.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Background and literature review -- Hardware development -- Software and control development -- Flight results and discussion -- Conclusion -- Appendix A. Supplementary figures