Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Suzanne Weaver Smith

Abstract

Inflatable-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have the ability to be packed in a fraction of their deployed volume. This makes them ideal for many deployable UAV designs, but inflatable wings can be flexible and don’t have conventional control surfaces. This thesis will investigate the use of wing warping as a means of autonomous control for inflatable wings. Due to complexities associated with manufacturing inflatable structures a new method of rapid prototyping deformable wings is used in place of inflatables to decrease cost and design-cycle time. A UAV testbed was developed and integrated with the warping wings and flown in a series of flight tests. The warping wing flew both under manual control and autopilot stabilization.

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