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Design and flight test of a civil unmanned aerial vehicle for maritime patrol: the use of 3D-printed structural components

Design and flight test of a civil unmanned aerial vehicle for maritime patrol: the use of 3D-printed structural components
Design and flight test of a civil unmanned aerial vehicle for maritime patrol: the use of 3D-printed structural components
This paper describes the design of the “Spotter” unmanned aerial vehicle, developed by the University of Southampton as part of the 2SEAS-3i European Interreg project. Spotter is a twin engine, 4m wing span, fixed-wing aircraft which has been designed to perform long-endurance, all-weather patrol missions in coastal and maritime environments. Reliability and safety have been among the strongest design drivers of this project; Spotter is able to survive the failure of one engine and of any single control surface. A modular approach has been adopted for the payload unit in order to allow the users to rapidly interchange the sensors required to perform different missions.

One of the most innovative aspects of Spotter is the extensive use of the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology (also known as 3D printing) for many of the components of its airframe. By eliminating tooling and manual labour, the 3D printing technology allows the designer to produce complex and high-performance structures at a relatively low cost and within hours of the completion of the design. Spotter and a sub-20kg version, codenamed 2SEAS-20, have undergone an extensive flight test campaign, totalling hundreds of autonomous flights (including autonomous take-off and landings) and many flight hours. This has provided the opportunity to test the reliability and robustness of the system and to gain a deeper insight into the opportunities and problems presented by the use of 3D printed structures for large airframe components.
1 85768 321 8
Ferraro, Mario
bb685634-3a36-49dd-bd2e-ade3f475796c
Lock, Andrew
990f0676-7906-432f-b985-543aa5478da5
Scanlan, James P.
7ad738f2-d732-423f-a322-31fa4695529d
Keane, Andy J.
26d7fa33-5415-4910-89d8-fb3620413def
Ferraro, Mario
bb685634-3a36-49dd-bd2e-ade3f475796c
Lock, Andrew
990f0676-7906-432f-b985-543aa5478da5
Scanlan, James P.
7ad738f2-d732-423f-a322-31fa4695529d
Keane, Andy J.
26d7fa33-5415-4910-89d8-fb3620413def

(2014) Design and flight test of a civil unmanned aerial vehicle for maritime patrol: the use of 3D-printed structural components. 4th Aircraft Structural Design Conference, United Kingdom. 07 - 09 Oct 2014. 14 pp .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

This paper describes the design of the “Spotter” unmanned aerial vehicle, developed by the University of Southampton as part of the 2SEAS-3i European Interreg project. Spotter is a twin engine, 4m wing span, fixed-wing aircraft which has been designed to perform long-endurance, all-weather patrol missions in coastal and maritime environments. Reliability and safety have been among the strongest design drivers of this project; Spotter is able to survive the failure of one engine and of any single control surface. A modular approach has been adopted for the payload unit in order to allow the users to rapidly interchange the sensors required to perform different missions.

One of the most innovative aspects of Spotter is the extensive use of the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology (also known as 3D printing) for many of the components of its airframe. By eliminating tooling and manual labour, the 3D printing technology allows the designer to produce complex and high-performance structures at a relatively low cost and within hours of the completion of the design. Spotter and a sub-20kg version, codenamed 2SEAS-20, have undergone an extensive flight test campaign, totalling hundreds of autonomous flights (including autonomous take-off and landings) and many flight hours. This has provided the opportunity to test the reliability and robustness of the system and to gain a deeper insight into the opportunities and problems presented by the use of 3D printed structures for large airframe components.

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More information

Published date: 2014
Venue - Dates: 4th Aircraft Structural Design Conference, United Kingdom, 2014-10-07 - 2014-10-09
Organisations: Computational Engineering & Design Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 374202
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/374202
ISBN: 1 85768 321 8
PURE UUID: 281068ba-115d-4bc9-8ffa-396f53fbdeaf

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Feb 2015 15:10
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:28

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