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Proceedings Paper

Ariel: a UAV designed to fly at 100,000 ft
Author(s): Basil S. Papadales; Susan M. Schoenung
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Paper Abstract

The Ariel unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was designed for NASA Ames Research Center to satisfy emerging civil science needs for subsonic flight at altitudes on the order of 100,000 ft. These include atmospheric monitoring of chemical species and environmental conditions related to global climate change. Ariel may be useful for a variety of civil and military remote sensing applications since, at an altitude of 100,000 ft, the UAV wold fly above all manned aircraft. The Ariel has a gross weight of 6400 lb with a wing span of 105 ft, a little shorter than that of the manned ER-2. Ariel is powered by a new propulsion system called the Bipropellant Expansion Turbine (BET). With a 300 hp BET, Ariel can climb to an altitude of 100,000 ft and loiter at Mach 0.63 for two hours while carrying a 600 lb payload. During this loiter, the UAV travels about 750 nm at 100,000 ft. It is possible to trade payload weight for range or endurance. Further design optimization or use of more advanced technology can result in substantially improved performance. With adequate funding, a proof of concept version of Ariel could be developed for initial flights by the year 2000.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 November 1996
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2829, Airborne Reconnaissance XX, (21 November 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.259730
Show Author Affiliations
Basil S. Papadales, Science and Applied Technology, Inc. (United States)
Susan M. Schoenung, LONGITUDE 122 West, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2829:
Airborne Reconnaissance XX
Richard J. Wollensak; William H. Barnes; Wallace G. Fishell; Arthur A. Andraitis; Alfred C. Crane; Michael S. Fagan, Editor(s)

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