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Proceedings Paper

Aircraft dynamics, wind tunnel testing, and CFD flow visualization of two linked UAVs flying at close proximity
Author(s): Edgar A. Cuji; Trent W. Lukaczyk; Ephrahim Garcia
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of close proximity aerodynamics and aircraft dynamics of two Linked UAVs. As the UAVs approach each other for wingtip docking there will be strong aerodynamic coupling between their wings tips. Lifting line and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation as well as wind tunnel testing of close proximity effects on lift, drag, roll, pitch and yaw moments for two UAV wings has been performed. The proximity aerodynamics effects between the UAVs wings were analyzed as a function of its relative position in all three directions. A look-up library of aerodynamic forces and moments for relative positions and angles of attack between the two UAVs has been developed. In this study we examined how the close proximity aerodynamics affects the dynamics and stability of the UAVs. The aircraft dynamics analysis is done in Simulink, which will include the close proximity aerodynamic look-up library. An aerodynamic disturbance intensity field will be generated, utilizing both simulation and wind tunnel data, to determine a trajectory for the two UAVs to approach each other for docking.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 April 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7643, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2010, 76432C (12 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.847678
Show Author Affiliations
Edgar A. Cuji, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Trent W. Lukaczyk, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Ephrahim Garcia, Cornell Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7643:
Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2010
Mehrdad N. Ghasemi-Nejhad, Editor(s)

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