The mind-boggling developments and their innumerableapplications in almost all spheres of our life in the past decade has made theheads spin in either disbelief or amazement, more so when looking at theUnmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) which are otherwise commonly known as theDrones. Essentially, a drone is a flying robot and these can beremotely controlled or could be flown autonomously through software-controlledflight plans in their embedded systems working in conjunction with GlobalPositioning System (GPS). Aircraft without a pilot on board go by manynames—unmanned air vehicle (UAV), remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) system, modelaircraft, remote control aircraft, and drone. With low prices, it is easier tobuy a small, high performance multi-rotor RPA, equipped with high definitionlive stream video cameras, GPS, autopilot, and with decent flight time. Drones are pilotless and non-crewed aircraft capable offlight either by remote control or through the use of on-board computers.
Othernames for these types of aircraft are remotely piloted vehicle (RPV), remotelypiloted aircraft (RPA), and remotely operated aircraft (ROA). A drone iscapable of controlled, sustained level flight and is powered by a jet,reciprocating, or electric engine. The dictionary of US Department of Defense defines UAVsas “a powered, aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator, usesaerodynamics forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be pilotedremotely, can be expandable, and can carry a lethal or non- lethalpayload.” The demonstration of a remotely controlled boat by Nikola Teslain 1898 had led to the birth of remotely controlled UAV, which was invented byArchibald M. Low two decades later. The Oxford English Dictionary describesdrones as ‘a remote-less controlled piloted aircraft or missile’. Understood insuch sense, drones came into first use after the World War II.
Since then, the number of drones in military useincreased substantially enough that the New York Time decided to refer to it asa new paradigm for warfare. The publicperception of most of the UAV applications is still mainly associated withmilitary use, but many seem to forget that one of the founding fathers of theidea of remotely controlled vehicles was the genial civil inventor – NicolaTesla. In fact, Tesla was the first to patent a remote-control for unmannedvehicles (which he described as ‘teleautomation’), becoming one of thefoundational principles for today’s UAV’s.In the past, UAVs have been used in a number of fields,from agriculture to meteorology and from research to military warfare. In 1941,target drones, the forerunner of modern UAVs, were incorporated with a cameraand a transmitter and were radio-guided to hit targets beyond the operator’ssight. Later in 1955, this concept was developed to carry out reconnaissancetasks by Americans who lost 25 percent of their reconnaissance pilots in WWII.
UAVs were first used by US Air Force and Navy in theVietnam War. Recent UAV models have remarkable capabilities and play a numberof excellent roles. Contrary to high costs, modern UAVs have several advantagesover manned aircraft. The UAVs reduce the manpower required for a particulartask. On average, one Japanese radio-controlled helicopter can do the work of15 workers.
The earliest recorded use of a UAV dates back to 1849 ADwhen the Austrians attacked the Venice city in Italy using unmanned balloonsloaded with explosives – a technologythat they had been developing for some time earlier. More than half-a-centurylater, the British military, in 1915, used aerial photography in the Battle ofNeuve Chapelle and successfully captured more than 1,500 sky view maps of theGerman trench fortifications. In the following year, the USA started developing the UAVtechnology during the WWI with the first pilotless aircraft and in 1930 theystarted experimenting with radio-controlled aircraft which resulted in thecreation of the Curtiss N2C-2 drone in 1937. During WWII, the firstremote-controlled aircraft – Radioplane OQ-2- was created. Since then, thedrones have come a long way in terms of development and its applications inboth military and civil domains.
The considerable current benefits andexpected future uses of UAVs have been booming up the effort of UAV developmentin 21st century. UAV missions include surveillance, tracking and targetengagement. The level of UAV autonomy ranges from radio controlled flight tofully autonomous take-off, flight and landing depending on the system.Hand-launch able UAVs are a growing market segment which has the added benefitof being able to be launched without the need for runways or mechanicallaunching aids that increase setup time and require additional training to use.Barring a few obstacles, drones are a boon to the humanity in the modern times.The innumerable benefits outnumber the disadvantages – the drones aretransforming the technologies and resulting into practical and realizablesolutions for improving the people’s lives today. The Emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates(UAE) has been in the lead and in the forefrontfor utilizing drones for our common benefits and created the world’s biggestdrone race and the first World Drone Prix. According to estimates, about US$10billion is the projected economic impact of the drone industries by 2025 andwould result in creating over 100,000 international jobs.
Given its geographical location and the start ofall-encompassing socio-economic development since the late 1980s, the UAE hasbeen somewhat at a slow start in utilizing the opportunities thrown up by thecivil aviation which it developed at a rapid pace and is now counted among the50 cities around the world that boasts of two international airports within theirurban limits. The UAE is committed to and is working towards remaining on thecutting-edge of the technology and is going all-out to use drones for the commongood of the people. Outside the UAE, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) havebeen used for military purposes initially after getting developed ratherslowly. Advances in field of UAVs have been continuing – much for the largerbenefit of mankind- and it stunned the UAE residents and visitors in the year2011 with a new development. Visitors to the Dubai Air Show were stunned when YabhonUnited 40 (Smart Eye 2) was revealed. It is a Medium Altitude, Long Endurance(MALE) UAV, designed and developed by ADCOM Systems, a UAE-based company. TheUAV can conduct near real-time assessment of combat and battle damage,intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), communications relay,border surveillance, humanitarian aid and other special missions. It wasdemonstrated later at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference(IDEX) in Abu Dhabi in February 2013.
The UAE-based UAV specialist ADCOM Systems unveiled anantisubmarine warfare (ASW) variant of its United-40 Medium Altitude LongEndurance (MALE) UAV. The United-40 Block 6 has been developed so as to be ableto carry and deploy sonobuoys, plus a single lightweight torpedo. ADCOM Systems says the United-40 Block 6 UAV can be usedto lay a barrier of sonobuoys, and then continue to loiter in the area for upto 16 hours with its torpedo armament. Sonobuoy pre-processing – employingproven multi-static techniques – would be performed on board the UAV, withacoustic data then shared via link to co-operating units. Alternatively, agroup of UAVs could operate together to create a larger field of sonobuoys. Cooperative operations could also be performed withmaritime patrol aircraft and ASW helicopters equipped with active dippingsonars. One other option is for the United-40 Block 6 UAV to be used as adedicated weapon-carrier, thus allowing helicopters and MPAs to carry more fueland hence extend time on station. Such an approach would increase the range atwhich submarine threats could be engaged.
Furthermore, given the potential proliferation ofsubmarine self-defense missile systems in the coming years, the use of a UAV todrop a torpedo in the target vicinity would enable manned airborne ASWplatforms to remain at a safe range outside. The ADCOM and WASS are working toadvance the electronic and mechanical integration of the ASW payloads,including drop testing from the United-40 platform. The Yabhon family of unmanned air systems include Yabhon-R, -R2, -RX, -H, -Smart Eye, -Smart Eye 1, and United 40 Bock 5. The United 40MALE UAV features curved double longitudinal design with tandem wingconfiguration. It is fitted with a fixed tricycle landing gear to facilitatesafe take-off and landing.
The UAV can execute missions under hot and highconditions.The United 40 MALE air vehicle can carry a payload of1,000kg that includes two gyro-stabilized gimballed camera platforms andSyntheticperture Radar (SAR). A sonar system is also installed for terrain andobstacle avoidance. The unmanned system incorporates four pods under thewings to carry munitions for combat operations.
Each pod has can carrymunitions weighing up to 100kg. External payloads can also be fitted under thefuselage. The UAV is powered by a hybrid turbine-electricpropulsion system integrating a four-stroke, four-cylinder turbocharged,liquid/air-cooled Rotax 914 UL engine, which develops an output power of 115hp.The engine incorporates a reduction gearbox and an integrated electric starter.The propulsion system also consists of an 80hp electric motor.
The UAV is also fitted with intakes on either side of thefuselage aft.The aircraft has a stall speed of 50km/h and can cruise at speedsvarying from 75km/h to 220km/h. It can operate at a maximum altitude of 7,000mand can fly for up to five days or 120 hours.UniqueFeatures The ADCOM Systems United 40 UAV is being developed forlong endurance reconnaissance and surveillance sorties with possible armingcapabilities in the future. The United 40 is currently envisioned as anintelligence-gathering, reconnaissance and communications relay platform, capableof supporting various operations including those of Special Forces, regulararmy and humanitarian aid responses.
It is conceivable that the system may alsoevolve along a more direct combat platform line, able to carry munitions intocombat and self-designate its targets – currently, four presented underwinghard points will serve to carry mission pods (100kg each station). The total payload capability (including internal) is tobe 2,200lbs.Perhaps the most unique physical quality of the United 40 is itsserpentine-like fuselage which bends down aft of the forward section to createa noticeable valley. The empennage is then slightly elevated to complete theshape, mounting a single vertical tail fin without any tailplanes present. Athree-bladed propeller blade is noted at the extreme rear of the design,arranged in a “pusher” configuration. Intakes are also found ateither side of the extreme fuselage aft. The main wing units of the United 40 are also ofparticular note for there are two individual mainplanes – one mounted forwardand the other mounted aft. The forward pair sits higher than the aft pair whenviews in profile and all are of a low-aspect ratio design similar to that ofgliders.
Dimensionally, the United 40 is given a length of 11 meters, awingspan of 20 meters and a height of 4.4 meters. The undercarriage is a retractable tricycle arrangementwhich limits operation of the United 40 to prepared runaways. The entirevehicle showcases an empty weight of 1,150lbs with a Maximum Take-Off Weight of3,300lbs. The United 40 is to be powered by a twin engine arrangement with itsprimary engine installation being a conventional unit outputting at 115horsepower. This is to be coupled with an electric system developingup to 80 horsepower. All told, the United 40 is expected to reach speedsbetween 75 and 200 kilometers per hour – this range based on availablemarketing material from ADCOM Systems. Additionally, its service ceiling isexpected to reach around 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) while mission endurancetimes will reach some 120 hours of constant operation.
KeyTechnical SpecificationsADCOM Systems United40 Technical SpecificationsService Year: 2016Type: MediumAltitude, Long Endurance (MALE) UAVNational Origin:United Arab EmiratesManufacturer(s):ADCOM Systems, Incorporated – UAEProduction Total: 1Structural (CrewSpace, Dimensions and Weights)Operating Crew: 0Length: 36.52 feet(11.13 meters)Width: 65.
62 feet(20.00 meters)Height: 14.37 feet(4.38 meters)Weight (Empty): 1,146lb (520 kg)Weight (MTOW): 3,307lb (1,500 kg)Installed Power andStandard Day PerformanceEngine(s): 1 xPrimary engine developing 115 horsepower with 1 x Electric motor generating 80horsepower.Maximum Speed: 137mph (220 kph; 119 knots)Service Ceiling:22,966 feet (7,000 meters; 4.
35 miles)Armament / MissionPayloadPossible – aircrafthas mocked various stores across four primary hardpoints. Mission equipmenttypically centered on combat/damage assessment, intelligence gathering,reconnaissance, surveillance and communications relay. Payload of up to1,000kg/2,200lbs.Global Operators /CustomersNone.
Model Variants(Including Prototypes)United 40 – BaseSeries DesignationHow Drones Work? UAVs were designed initiallyfor reconnaissance purposes, but their para-military and commercial developmentwas somewhat remained out of public sight. As the technology becomes moreadvanced and costs fall, civilian day-today uses of UAVs are developingrapidly. Drone technology is constantly evolving due to the new innovations. Unmanned aerial vehicle technology covers everything fromthe aerodynamics of the drone, materials in the manufacture of the physicalUAV, to the circuit boards, chipset and software which are the brains of thedrone. One of the most popular drones on the market is the Phantom 2 Vision+which uses advanced technology. This UAV is ideal to explain drone technology because ithas everything in one package.
Itincludes the UAV, gimbal and camera and uses some of the top drone technologyon the market today. New and highly advanced drones such as the DJI Mavic,Phantom 4 Pro and Inspire 2 have come to the public market. A typical unmanned aircraft is made of light compositematerials to reduce weight and increase maneuverability.
This compositematerial strength allows military drones to cruise at extremely high altitudes.Drones are equipped with different state of the art technology such asinfra-red cameras (military UAV), GPS and laser (military UAV). Drones can be controlled by remote control system or aground cockpit. An unmanned aerial vehicle system has two parts, the droneitself and the control system. The noseof the unmanned aerial vehicle is where all the sensors and navigationalsystems are present. The rest of the body is complete innovation since there isno loss for space to accommodate humans and also light weight. The engineeringmaterials used to build the drone are highly complex composites which canabsorb vibration which decreases the noise produced.
A very simple description of a drone is that it is aflying computer with a camera attached. Drones have firmware which can beupdated to fix bugs and add new features. LED Flight Indicators: Theseare found at the front and the rear of the drone. The front LEDs are forindicating where the nose of the drone is. The rear LEDs flight indicatorslight up to show the drones current flight status when the flight battery isturned on. The UAV Remote Control System: This is thewireless communication device using the 5.
8 GHz frequency band. The drone andthe remote control system should already be paired when it leaves the factory.The UAV Remote Control Receiver: The location of the 5.8 GHz receivertechnology link button is under the UAV and the Range Extender UAVTechnology is a wireless communication device which operates within the 2.
4GHz frequency. It is used to extend the range of communication between thesmartphone or tablet and the drone in an open unobstructed area. Transmission distance can reach up to 700meters. Each range extender has a unique MAC address and network name (SSID). The High Performance Camera: The Phantom 2 Vision+carries an extremely high quality camera and a removable 4GB micro SD card. Itshoots full HD video at 1080p/30 frames per second and 720p/60 frames persecond, giving you crystal clear video and the option for slow motion shots.
The latest drones now includes cameras which can shootfilm in 4k video and can take 12 megapixel stills.The latest DJI Zenmuse Z3 isan integrated aerial zoom camera and is optimized for still photography. The Zenmuse has a 7x zoom lens which is afirst in aerial cameras. The WalkeraVoyager 4 comes with an incredible 18x zoom camera.Gimbal technology is vitalto capture quality aerial photos, film or 3D imagery. The gimbal allows for any vibration from thedrone to not reach the camera.
Thegimbal allows you to tilt the camera while in flight, creating uniqueangles. It uses a 3 axial stabilized gimbaland has 2 working modes. Practically all the latest drones have integratedgimbals and cameras. The leader in aerial gimbal technology is DJI with theirZenmuse range.
Multispectral, Lidar,Photogrammetry and Thermal sensors are now being used on drones to provide 3Dmodels of buildings and landscape; Digital Elevation Maps (DEMS) of land, andprovide precision data on the health of crops, flowers, fauna, shrubs andtrees. In 2016, drones were started using Time-of-Flight 3Ddepth camera sensors which can be used on their own or with the above sensorsto provide solutions. ToF depth rangingcamera sensors can be used for object scanning, indoor navigation, and obstacleavoidance, gesture recognition, tracking objects, measuring volumes, reactivealtimeters, 3D photography and augmented reality games, amongst others fields. With Lidar and photogrammetry mapping, the drone will beprogrammed to fly over a particular area using autonomous GPS waypointnavigation.
The camera on the drone will be taking photographs at 0.5 or 1second intervals. These photos are thenstitched together using specialized software to create the 3D image. Drones insome ways are flying computers. With anoperating system, flight controllers, main boards with programmable code. They can also be hacked into.
Like a computer, one can protect your dronefrom hackers. ENDURANCEOF UAVsPrevious research has alreadydemonstrated the usefulness and robustness of UAVs and their ability to remainin the air for months or even years at a time 12. TheAquila drone plans to incorporate previous work by travelling at altitudesranging between 60,000 and 90,000 ft, utilizing solar power, and staying in theair for at least 3 months at a time.
Meeting these requirements is asignificant engineering task that will require the drone be optimized for itsintended function. Optimization algorithms forvarying UAVs are common in current literature. Many focuson optimizing specific aspects inregards to flight endurance, such as motor and propeller optimization, rather thanthe full set of variables that willmaximize the overall vehicle. Existing efforts to optimize UAVendurance have done so through differing methodologies.
Batill et al. focusedon the areas of aerodynamics, weights, propulsion, flight performance, andstability/control in optimizing the design of electric powered UAVs 5. Abbe et al. and Zhu et al. both outlinedmultiple concerns that need to be taken into account when designing solarpowered aircraft 6.
Zhupoints out that achieving an energy balance during daytime and nighttime flyingstates is a critical part of long endurance solar aircraft design. Others havealso optimized motor and propeller incorporation in UAVs 7, modeled practical solar energyimplementations 8, andconsidered high altitude, high endurance modeling 9. This research combines techniques into anoverarching optimization problem, and hopes to expand on previousresearch in multiple ways.In this study willexplore endurance optimization techniques, to maximize the endurance of thespecified UAV. Design variables include wing span, chord, velocity, washoutangle, and airfoil shape, and angle of attack, battery type, motor type andothers. The possibility of increasing endurance through solar power will beexplored. Some of the variables will be considered in this optimization, they willbe used solely as user configurable parameters rather than design variables.
Level 0 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Asillustrated in Figure 1 below, the UAV is supplied with two input data for thecomponents inside to process. The main function of the UAV is to be a body forthe electrical component found within the UAV and with the two data thealgorithm and the power to be able to identify targets. Figure 1: Level 0 UAVFunctionality Level 1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle A more in depth look at the UAV functionality displays theinput power (battery) powering the engine. It also shows that the camera is notpowered by any external power, but that it will have its own internal battery.The autopilot has two inputs, the algorithm and the engine, this is importantbecause the input mission allows the autopilot to follow the designated path.The second input to the autopilot is from the engine; this input helps theautopilot know the speed of the UAV and the in return the autopilot can reducethe speed to stay in the constraint speed. The Vehicle Dynamics is the actionin which the autopilot reacts to the speed, angle, and other physicalmovement of the aircraft.
Adding all the components together the system outputwill be able to identify targets. Figure 2: Level 1 UAV Functionality Level 0 Autopilot The autopilot is composed of multiple components; the primaryinputs are the mission and power being sourced by the power engine. The outputsconsist of rudder, elevator, throttle and CPU.
The mission will provide thespecifications in relation to the overall functionality of the autopilot andthe power from the engine will be the source of energy for the autopilot. Theout puts have an overall functionality of assisting with the flight path of the Figure 3: Level 01 Autopilot functionality Level1 Autopilot A further insight into the autopilot show that it iscomposed of multiple components, the accelerometer has the ability to controlthe speed of the aircraft, the mission will have a command telling it to slowdown when the camera spots a possible target and it will have another commandthe will not allow the UAV to fly faster than the constraint speed of 100knots.The power from the engine will power the entire autopilot system.
Anotherimportant component found inside the autopilot is the GPS and GPS receiver,both parts is used to locate the UAV and to give location of targets. Puttingtogether all these internal components assist with the flight path calculationthat is called the vehicle dynamics. Figure 4: Level 1 Autopilot functionality____________________________________