2003-2004 Rochester Institute of Technology
Micro Air Vehicle Team

Needs Assessment

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Needs Assessment

Vehicle Characteristic Goals

  • Wing Span  < 15 inches

  • Total Vehicle Weight < 110 grams

Performance Goals

  • Flight endurance > 5 minutes

  • Flight range of 300 m from base station

  • Fully functional Electronics during flight described above

Vehicle Section Specific


  • Durability - The airframe of the vehicle shall be durable to withstand hard landings. The onboard electronics such as the video and controls systems need to be used for every mission and because of their expense, need to be protected from damage.

  • Pod - A detachable pod shall be integrated with the airframe that will responsible for holding the necessary cartridge payload. The pod shall also meet the same durability requirements of the airframe. Pod design and integration shall be flexible to allow for payloads of various sizes and weights. A flight/payload envelope shall be developed to show what size and weight payload can be carried by the MAV.

  • Stability and Control -  The vehicle should be stable to allow for natural recovery of the vehicle during flight. The pilot should be able to maintain good control of the vehicle for the duration of the flight.

  • Propulsion - A propeller/power plant combination shall be chosen that allows the Performance Goals to be satisfied.

Electrical Systems

  • Video System -The vehicle shall have an onboard camera capable of transmitting real time video back to the base station. The base station shall have a method of viewing the real-time video feed and capturing that video for later analysis and documentation. Video should be used to help fly the aircraft, navigate to pre-determined targets and pinpoint location.

  • Control System - The vehicle shall have an onboard receiver to receive the control signals from the pilot. A lightweight control-actuation system shall interact with the receiver to control the vehicle.

  • Batteries - The vehicle shall be powered by onboard batteries that will provide the necessary power for all of the onboard electronics.

Further Technology

  • Launcher - A launcher should be designed and analyzed for possible use with the MAV.

  • Global Positioning System (GPS) - A GPS system shall be investigated for possible use on an MAV. If deemed feasible, GPS should be implemented in the design as a standard feature.

Needs Assessment Deliverable

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