2003-2004 Rochester Institute of Technology
Micro Air Vehicle Team

Design Objectives and Criteria

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Design Objectives & Specifications

Performance Specifications

The overall performance specifications for the MAV defined after the concept development and feasibility phase are as follows:

  • The vehicle shall not exceed 100 grams gross mass
  • The vehicle shall not exceed 15 inches (385 mm) maximum linear dimension
  • The vehicle shall have a endurance of at least 5 minutes
  • The controls and video link shall be functional to a range of 300 meters
  • The vehicle shall have a cruise speed between 5 and 20 meters per second
  • An electric motor/propeller combination shall propel the vehicle the powerplant shall generate at least 25 grams of continuous thrust,
    with a goal of greater than 30 grams
  • Lithium polymer batteries shall be utilized to power the all onboard electrical systems
  • All electrical systems must run on 5 V and have the low continuous current draw

Design and Implementation Specifications

The general design implementations are as follows:

  • All drawings and calculations shall be utilize metric standard units
  • All CAD work and formal drawings shall be performed in SolidWorks or Pro-Engineer, and all attempts will be made to ensure uniformity of style
  • All purchases must be verbally approved by the Team Manager
Evaluation Criteria

The criteria for evaluating the success of the MAV is as listed in the Needs Assessment section. If all goals are met with adequate time before completion date of this project, further research and development will be performed on all systems. Completion date for the project is May 21st, 2004.



The ground launcher concept needs to be developed further, which requires a more detailed design criteria and objectives. The performance calculations from the airframe section have yielded flight speeds of the MAV to maintain stable flight. To achieve a successful launch, the MAV should be launched at 80-90% of the flight speed envelope; this works out to be 7-9 m/s. In addition to flight speed, the vehicle should be launched at an 8-10 degree angle of attack to allow for the vehicle to be stable and ready to climb immediately leaving the launcher. The small angle of launch will create an issue with the altitude the MAV leaves the launcher at. It would be adequate, if the MAV had some extra clearance from ground as it leaves the launcher, which will require the ground launcher to be elevated off the ground. The ground launcher should also be fabricated with materials that will minimize the overall weight of the launcher. Materials like aluminum and carbon fiber shall be investigated for the fabrication. The ground launcher also requires the use of a constant-force spring that will pull the cradle along the guide rails. The constant-force spring should provide enough force to accelerate the MAV to 80-90% of vehicle flight speed.


Copyright · 2004
RIT Kate Gleason College of Engineering and the RIT MAV Team.