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Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Center

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The goal of this project was to develop a fleet of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) carrying a variety of sensors enabling persistent surveillance of different test activities from the air. Four different-size UAS were considered as a remotely piloted testbed (RPT) to support the aforementioned mission. Figure A shows these platforms and Table A provides their basic characteristics.

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Figure A. Fleet of different-size UAS used during RPT development

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Figure A. Fleet of different-size UAS used during RPT development

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Figure A. Fleet of different-size UAS used during RPT development

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Figure A. Fleet of different-size UAS used during RPT development

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Figure A. Fleet of different-size UAS used during RPT development

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  Rascal 110 Cub 50 P10B MATRICS

Table A. Geometric and mass parameters of RPT.

Wing span, m 2.8 5.74 6.48 12.65
Length, m 2 3.61 3.71 6.10
Max speed, m/s (kn) 30 (58) 31 (61) 40 (78) 72 (140)
Cruise speed, m/s (kn) 25 (49) 25 (49) 31 (61) 51 (100)
Max gross takeoff weight, kg (lb) 9 (20) 60 (132) 114 (241) 670 (1477)
Payload capacity, kg (lb) 4 (9) 23 (50) 39 (85) 193 (425)
Endurance, hr 2 1 2 10

The development of RPT included UAS modeling and integration with a Piccolo II autopilot. For each platform the modeling process started from describing aircraft geometry (Fig.B) and evaluating its inertial properties (Fig.C).

a) b)

Figure B. Modeling geometry of P10B (a) and Cub-50 (b) UAS.

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Figure C. Experimental determination of the moments of inertia.
 

Figure C. Experimental determination of the moments of inertia.