2003-2004 Rochester Institute of Technology
Micro Air Vehicle Team
From prototype to final design, several design changes were made. The most visible change was to the airframe shape. The aspect ratio was increased from 1.39 to 2.32, while maintaining a similar wing area. Winglets were added, which during flight testing appeared to have dramatic positive performance results. The final design has a wingspan of 12 inches.
The S5010 airfoil was also modified. It was thinned to 6.5% thickness from 9.8%. Camber was decreased to 1.5%). Finally, an additional reflex was added to the trailing edge to improve stability.
As mentioned on the Flight Testing page, the propulsion design incorporates a U-80 propeller due to attachment problems with the EP-0320.
Overheating of the motors was a problem during flight testing and at competition. An aluminum heat-sink was implemented to improve heat dissipation from the motor. While motor overheat and degradation of the brushes caused by this is still an issue, this lengenthed the flight-time from one motor considerably.
The electrical system also had several alterations between prototype and final design. It was found that the high-quality color CCD camera was very fragile (breaking even in a lab environment, before flights with it could be attempted). Because of this, and weight concerns, the tea incorporated a much compact CMOS camera into the final design. Also, the lighter 340mAh batteries are used in the final design. They meet all the power and design requirements of the system and save considerable weight over the 500mAh cells.
Finally, a simple protoboard is integrated into the vehicle to handle all the wire connections and voltage regulation. This saves much of the headache experienced with the extremely fragile small-gage wires being utilized.
The final launcher design successfully launches the MAV in a controlled and stable manner. While it does not propel the aircraft all the way up to flight speed, properly used the launcher can be a valuable asset to the team.
The final dummy-model Thnikkaman (sans heatsink! we're not machining two of those!)
Copyright · 2004
RIT Kate Gleason College of Engineering and the RIT MAV Team.