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2024 | Book

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Design and Technology


About this book

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Design and Technology provides readers with a comprehensive introduction to unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology basics. The book presents clear, concise guidance on UAS system design, components, control, and operations fundamentals. Additional chapters look at unmanned aerial regulations and ethics and the historical background of UAS technology. This textbook offers a well-rounded look at unmanned flight technology, making it an ideal primer for aviation and aerospace students and anyone interested in learning more about unmanned aerial systems, including engineers, technicians, drone and flight hobbyists, and civil aviation organization officials.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. A Review on Trending Topics on the Civilian Drones in the Second Century of Aviation: Current Status, Challenges, and Research Opportunities
In recent years, commercial drone systems have been adopted in various industries, such as agriculture, infrastructure monitoring, cargo transport, security, and filming. This section presents a comprehensive review of the latest trends and research areas in commercial drone technology. An overview of the top five drone usage areas is provided, and a master list of commercial drone applications is compiled. Additionally, the existing challenges of the drone industry, such as endurance issues, noise concerns, risks of mid-air collisions, navigation problems, insurance policies, and lack of technical education opportunities are evaluated. Finally, a list of innovative and popular research areas for drone technology, including alternative energy sources, wireless charging methods, hybrid vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drones, bio-inspired designs, and more is presented. This section serves as a valuable resource for entrepreneurs and researchers interested in drone-related technologies and can guide the future development of the industry.
T. Hikmet Karakoc, Emre Özbek
Chapter 2. Systems Engineering Approach on UAS Design
The definitions unmanned aerial system (UAS) and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) are used interchangeably in many cases, creating confusion. Unmanned aerial system labelling is mainly based on systems engineering practice and classifications. Systems engineering is a method that has been used since the 1940s for the design processes of complex systems (Haberfellner et al. Systems engineering. Springer International Publishing, Cham, p. 5, 2019). The complex system definition here is directly related to the multidisciplinary nature of the work. Systems engineering, which has become widespread in aerospace engineering studies, is also used in unmanned aerial vehicle design processes. The concept design phase, which is one of the generally accepted unmanned aerial vehicle design phases, requires solutions that include this engineering approach. In this chapter, the characteristics of the systems engineering approach, the levels of the systems engineering approach and the place of systems engineering in the unmanned aerial vehicle design processes are evaluated. The points to be considered in the application of the systems engineering approach are specified. The advantages of the systems engineering approach and its effects on the design processes after the concept design are evaluated. A design practice is also performed to reinforce the information that has been provided.
Emre Özbek, Selcuk Ekici, T. Hikmet Karakoc
Chapter 3. Aerodynamic Analysis of Short Landing Solar-Powered UAV for Environmental Monitoring Applications
Solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is a state-of-the-art technology which becomes widely popular in many fields of technology such as energy industry and aerospace industry. Several solar-powered UAVs have been developed with the aim to enhance flight endurance using various types of solar cells to extract and convert solar energy to electrical energy for onboard consumption. Large-scale solar-powered UAVs with appropriate design flying under appropriate environmental condition may have on-board energy storage system to extend flight endurance or to operate perpetually. The large-scale AtlantikSolar solar-powered low-altitude UAV, for example, demonstrated the potential to perpetually fly over day and night with an endurance of up to 28 hours.
According to significant development in solar photovoltaic technologies, small-scale solar-powered UAVs are becoming popular for long-endurance operations. However, this study aims to bring existing technologies to develop small solar-powered UAVs to operate at a low altitude. The solar cell technologies were studied and the aircraft performance analysis was performed to determine the design configuration which provides the optimum flight performance within the target operational wind speeds of 0–5 m/s. In addition, high angle-of-attack landing was also studied to determine the feasibility of short landing operation in a limited area. The calculation and flight testing indicated that the tailing elevator deflection at a certain −30 deg enabled a deep stall trajectory without any damage to the vehicle.
Chinnapat Thipyopas, Nattapong Warin
Chapter 4. Onboard Trajectory Coordination of Multiple Unmanned Air Vehicles
The increasing diversity of autonomous air vehicles (AAVs) and their application has created an increased need for effective aircraft trajectory coordination within congested airspaces. Here, a method to coordinate a flight formation of multiple cooperative unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) using onboard command and control is introduced. The proposed system has been verified in simulation and validated in flight. The results show that it is possible to control a fleet of multi-rotor aircraft using onboard equipment. Areas of improvement to increase accuracy and reliability of the system are proposed.
James Sease, Stephen Warwick, Afzal Suleman
Chapter 5. Applications of Drones in the Health Industry
Drones can gather real-time data cost-effectively to deliver payloads and have initiated the rapid evolution of many industrial, commercial, and recreational applications. The advancement of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology in industrial processes and communication and networking technologies has increased their use in civil, business, and social applications. The applications of drones in the healthcare field is a new but rapidly developing technology. With their valuable functions, drones successfully deliver drugs, blood, vaccines, and similar medical samples that are urgently needed to places where access is difficult. Drones can evolve medical care as well as propel advancement in the health industry. The use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) before emergency medical services (EMS) arrival can increase 30-day survival in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) significantly. Drones or UAVs can fly with high velocity and potentially transport devices such as AEDs to the site of OHCAs. Depending on the developments in drone technology, it will be possible to transport the patients who met with an accident to the emergency services of hospitals with done after the first intervention. This article provides a comprehensive review of current and future drone applications in health to empower and inspire more aggressive investigation.
Kursat Alp Yigit, Alper Dalkiran, T. Hikmet Karakoc
Chapter 6. An Evaluation of the Current Status and Trends in All Electric Urban Air Mobility UAVs
Electrification of mobility is a trending topic worldwide due to sustainability issues arising from dependency on fossil fuels. In all categories of transport, land, naval, and aerial pioneer projects have been developing as electrical alternatives to fossil fuel–dependent conventional transport models. In this chapter, motivations and driving factors of all-sustainable aircraft developments have been addressed. Alternatives and research directions being worked on have also been mentioned. The current all-electric unmanned urban air mobility aircraft developments have been assessed. The assessment is performed on maximum takeoff weight (MTOW), range, seat capacity, payload, and cruise airspeed. Seven different all-electric unmanned aircraft models have been evaluated, and related data have been provided. Current challenges, trends, and future directions have also been provided from the authors’ perspective.
Emre Özbek, Alper Dalkiran, Evren Yilmaz Yakin, Selcuk Ekici, T. Hikmet Karakoc
Chapter 7. Aerodynamic Shape Optimization and the Effect of Morphing Winglet-Induced Tip Vortex Structure on the UAS-S45
Increasing fuel costs have necessitated the need for highly fuel-efficient aircraft. Industry and academic researchers are continually looking for ways to increase aircraft performance. One way is to reduce total aircraft drag, thereby improving aerodynamic efficiency without compromising structural integrity. The increase in efficiency directly benefits airlines by allowing for more frequent flights with less fuel consumption, resulting in economic benefits. Wingtip devices are already available in various shapes and sizes, and they all serve to minimize drag by recovering tip vortex energy, thereby improving fuel efficiency. Several methods have been proposed in this study for achieving the required morphing wing adaptability, resulting in considerable performance improvements over conventional wing design, such as a camber morphing wing flap.
Musavir Bashir, Simon Longtin-Martel, Ruxandra Mihaela Botez, Tony Wong
Chapter 8. Observer-based Feedback Linearization Control of a Quadrotor Subjected to Sensor Noise
The aim of this chapter is to propose an observer-based feedback linearization controller for nonlinear quadrotor dynamics to track the given reference when subjected to internal and external noise sources. First, the nonlinear model of the quadrotor is derived with rotational subsystems including rotational rates. Double-loop sequential controller is designed with feedback linearization control and linear quadratic regulator sub-blocks. Quadrotor is subjected to noise sources. To eliminate the noise, an observer is designed in addition to the control loops. The proposed method is tested under two scenarios that include from 0 initial point to any positive arbitrary reference and from any negative arbitrary states to 0 reference. Performance of the proposed method is evaluated with absolute error, signal-to-noise ratio, and standard deviation of error analyses for the noisy references. According to the results, the proposed method can control the nonlinear quadrotor dynamics, whereas the method reduced the absolute noise from 0.6 [rad] to 0.15 [rad] and reduced the standard deviation of the error from 0.17 [rad] to 0.05 [rad] with an increment in the signal-to-noise ratio up to 25.5. The aim of this chapter is to propose a controller for nonlinear quadrotor dynamics that can handle sensor errors with the aid of an observer scheme.
Ahmet Ermeydan, Aziz Kaba
Chapter 9. An Evaluation on Landing Gear Configurations of Fixed-Wing, Rotary-Wing, and Hybrid UAVs
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are applied in many civil and military operation areas due to their availability and cost-efficient operational capabilities. The take-off and landing methods chosen for an aircraft depend on its operational design requirements. There are various types of UAV configurations under the main groups of fixed wings, rotary wings, and hybrid categories. These different configurations offer specific operational and technical advantages that make each configuration unique for the aimed application. In this chapter, landing gear configurations of fixed wing, rotary wing, and hybrid UAVs were assessed. The components and design selections were evaluated. The rule of right thumb design and sizing data was provided for configurations along with UAVs designed by authors. Also, phenomena such as tail strike and overturn were explained with resultant parameters.
Emre Özbek, Selcuk Ekici, T. Hikmet Karakoc
Chapter 10. Non-linear System Identification for UAS Adaptive Control
Fast aircraft prototyping, fault detection, morphing surfaces, and real-time generation of dynamic models are just some of the advantages of a model identification adaptive controller (MIAC). The research presented in this paper introduces a MIAC architecture and validates a novel data-driven algorithm to be used for online system identification of unmanned aerial system (UAS). The simulation results illustrate the effects and the limits of short training time and sensor noise on the identified model.
Sean Bazzocchi, Afzal Suleman
Chapter 11. Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Imaging and Remote Sensing
The developments in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems in recent years and the production of UAV systems in smaller sizes have made these systems more preferred in imaging and remote sensing systems. The use of imaging and remote data collection applications with different aircraft and aircraft brings high operating costs and long planning processes. The costs of imaging and remote sensing studies with aircraft are both quite high, and the flight preparation studies take a long time. UAV systems are increasingly preferred for remote imaging and data collection applications due to the high cost of remote image collection by aircraft, the necessity of employing more operating personnel, and the need for long-term planning. Especially for environmental monitoring studies in small- or medium-sized areas, UAV technologies offer much more economical, flexible, and faster solutions. UAVs are increasingly preferred in photogrammetry and remote imaging applications due to their flexibility, efficiency, low cost, and easy-to-use features. With the increasing use of UAV systems in the field of photogrammetry, studies of taking, processing, and analyzing UAV-based aerial images are gaining momentum day by day. Different imaging and remote sensing cameras and sensors are widely used in UAV systems. These are near-infrared, multispectral, hyperspectral, and thermal cameras. At the same time, laser scanners and synthetic aperture radar systems, which are increasingly used in commercial and industrial applications, are also increasingly used in UAV systems. In this study, near-infrared cameras, multispectral cameras, hyperspectral cameras, thermal cameras, laser scanners, and synthetic aperture radar systems used in UAV systems were examined. At the same time, its industrial applications were examined.
Alpaslan Durmuş, Erol Duymaz
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Design and Technology
T. Hikmet Karakoc
Emre Özbek
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