Low velocity impact analysis of a composite mini unmanned air vehicle during belly landing

Yüksel, Serhan
Mini unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) have high significance among other UAV's, in different categories, due to their ease of production, flexibility of maintenance, decrease in weight due to the elimination of landing gear system and simplicity of use. They are usually built to meet 'hand launching' and 'belly landing' criteria in order to have easy flight and easy landing features. Due to the hand take-off and belly landing features there is no need to have a runway and this feature is a very significant advantage in operational use. In an operation, belly landing mini UAV's may encounter tough landing areas like gravel, concrete or hard soil. Such landing areas may create landing loads which are impulsive in character. The effect of the landing loads on the airframe of the mini unmanned air vehicle must be completely understood and the mini UAV be designed accordingly in order not to damage the mini UAV during belly landing. Typical impact speeds during belly landing is relatively low (<10 m/s) and in general belly landing phenomenon can be treated as low velocity impact. The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact loads on the composite substructures of a mini UAV due to the belly landing. 'Güventürk' Mini UAV which is designed and built in METU Aerospace Engineering Department, is used as the analysis platform. This study is limited to the calculation of stresses and deformation that is caused by the low velocity impact forces encountered during belly landing. The main purpose of this work is to help the designer in making design decisions for a mini UAV that is tolerable to low velocity impact loads. Initial part of the thesis includes analytical treatment of low velocity impact phenomenon. In the simplified analytical approach the loading is assumed as quasistatic and comparisons of such a simplified method of analysis is made with explicit finite element solutions on isotropic and composite plate structures to investigate the applicability of simplified analytical method of analysis. Belly landing analyses of the mini UAV are done by MSC.Dytran, which is an explicit finite element solver. Model building and post processing are done via MSC.Patran. Stress and deformation response of the mini UAV is investigated by performing low velocity impact analysis using sub-structure built-up approach.


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Citation Formats
S. Yüksel, “Low velocity impact analysis of a composite mini unmanned air vehicle during belly landing,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2010.