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Presented In:
(Madras Institute of Technology,chrpompet,chennai)

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are remotely piloted or self-piloted aircraft that can carry cameras, sensors, communications equipment or other payloads. They have been used in a reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering role since the 1950s, and more challenging roles are envisioned, including combat missions. Since 1964 the Defense Department has developed 11 different UAVs, though due to acquisition and development problems only 3 entered production. The US Navy has studyied the feasibility of operating VTOL UAVs since the early 1960s, the QH-50 Gyrodyne torpedo-delivery drone being an early example. However, high cost and technological immaturity have precluded acquiring and fielding operational VTOL UAV systems.
By the early 1990s DOD sought UAVs to satisfy surveillance requirements in Close Range, Short Range or Endurance categories. Close Range was defined to be within 50 kilometers, Short Range was defined as within 200 kilometers and Endurance as anything beyond. By the late 1990s, the Close and Short Range categories were combined, and a separate Shipboard category emerged. The current classes of these vehicles are the Tactical UAV and the Endurance category.
Pioneer: Procured beginning in 1985 as an interim UAV capability to provide imagery intelligence for tactical commanders on land and see at ranges out to 185 kilometers. No longer in the Army inventory (returned to the US Navy in 1995).
Tactical UAV : Designed to support tactical commanders with near-real-time imagery intelligence at ranges up to 200 kilometers. Outrider Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program terminated. Material solution for TUAV requirements is being pursued through a competive acquisition process with goal of contract award in DEC 99.
Joint Tactical UAV (Hunter): Developed to provide ground and maritime forces with near-real-time imagery intelligence at ranges up to 200 kilometers; extensible to 300+ kilometers by using another Hunter UAV as an airborne relay. Training base located at Fort Huachuca, with additional baseline at Fort Polk to support JRTC rotations. Operational assets based at Fort Hood (currently supporting the KFOR in Kosovo).
Medium Altitude Endurance UAV (Predator): Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration now transitioned to Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP). Provides imagery intelligence to satisfy Joint Task Force and Theater Commanders at ranges out to 500 nautical miles. No longer in the Army inventory (transferred to the US Air Force in 1996).
High Altitude Endurance UAV (Global Hawk): Intended for missions requiring long-range deployment and wide-area surveillance (EO/IR and SAR) or long sensor dwell over the target area. Directly deployable from CONUS to the theater of operations. Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) managed by the US Air Force.
Tactical Control Station (TCS): The Tactical Control Station is the software and communications links required to control the TUAV, MAE-UAV, and other future tactical UAV's. It also provides connectivity to other C4I systems.
Micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (MAV): DARPA program to explore the military relevance of Micro Air Vehicles for future and to develop and demonstrate flight enabling technologies for verysmallaircraft (less than 15cm/6in. in any dimension)
DRDO Nishant
DRDO Nishant
Role Military UAV
Manufacturer DRDO
Designed by DRDO
First flight 1995
Status Trials
Primary user Indian Army
Produced 12 (on order)

The DRDO Nishant is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed by India's ADE (Aeronautical Development Establishment) a branch of DRDO for the Indian Armed Forces. The Nishant UAV is primarily tasked with intelligence gathering over enemy territory and also for recce, surveillance, target designation, artillery fire correction, damage assessment, ELINT and SIGINT. The UAV has an Endurance of 4 hrs & 30min. Nishant has completed development Phase and User trials.
The 380 kg Nishant UAV requires rail-launching from a hydro-pneumatic launcher and recovered by a Parachute System. Launches at a velocity of 45 m/s are carried out in 0.6 seconds with 100 kW power and subsequent launches can be carried out in intervals of 20 minutes. The Mobile Hydro-Pneumatic Launcher (MHPL) system mounted on a Tatra truck weighs 14,000 kg and boasts of a life cycle of 1000 launches before requiring overhaul. Nishant is one of the few UAVs in the world in its weight-class capable of being catapult-launched and recovered by using parachute, thus eliminating the need for a runway as in case of conventional take-off and landing with wheels.
Nishant UAV
To meet the Armyâ„¢s operational requirement of an RPV it was decided in September 1988 that the Defence Research and Development Organisation would undertake the indigenous development of the UAV. The General Staff Qualitative Requirement (GSQR) was finalised by the Army in May 1990. The Nishant RPV made its first test flight in 1995. In July 1999, for the first time the Indian army deployed its new Nishant UAV system in the fight against guerilla forces backed by Pakistan in Kashmir. Nishant, which had been developed for battlefield surveillance and reconnaissance needs of the Indian Army, was test flown again in early 2002. The indigenous Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) Nishant developed by DRDO had completed its 100th flight by June 15 2005.[1] The Indian Army has placed an order for 12 Nishant UAVs along with ground support systems.[2] Nishant Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed by DRDO for Indian Army was successfully flight tested near Kolar on 20 June 2008. Nishant has completed development phase and user trials. The present flight tests are pre confirmatory trials before induction into services.[3]
Test flight with Wankel engine
On Sunday 5 April 2009 DRDO launched a test flight of the Nishant UAV. The main goal was to test the performance of the Wankel engine used on the UAV. An abandoned World War II runway at a village near Kolar played host to the first ever flight of this indigenous rotary engine-powered UAV. The flight took off on early Sunday morning and climbed to an altitude of 1.8 km effortlessly before cruising for a duration of 35 minutes. The air vehicle was recovered safely at the intended place at a dried-up lake, after a total flight duration of 40 mins. The engine, a Wankel rotary type, was the developmental project of the DRDO and was jointly designed and developed by NAL, a CSIR laboratory, VRDE, Ahmednagar and ADE, Bangalore. The provisional flight clearance for the first indigenous prototype engine was given by the certifying agency, RCMA. The engine was cleared for flight after rigorous ground endurance test runs. The Wankel engine weighs about 30 kgs, and this engine type is known for its high power to weight ratio in a single rotor category.[4]
DRDO was satisfied with the test results. The performance of the engine during the flight met the requirements of the first flight of a engine in the air vehicle. This 55 hp indigenous engine is expected to replace the present imported engine of Nishant. The critical core engine, including the special cylinder composite nickel-silicon carbide coating and special aluminium alloy castings, was designed and developed by NAL. VRDE developed engine peripherals such as the ignition and fuel systems and ADE developed flight testing. The reconnaissance UAV, which has completed its user trials with the Indian Army, is expected to be handed over to the army shortly.
¢ WTakeOff = takeoff weight in Kg
¢ WPayload = payload weight in Kg .Range in Km
¢ WTakeOff = takeoff weight in Kg
¢ WPayload = payload weight in Kg .Range in Km
Nishant UAV on its launcher
¢ Day/Night Capability
¢ Battlefield reconnaissance & surveillance
¢ Target tracking and localization
¢ Artillery fire correction
¢ All terrain mobility
¢ Target Designation (using integral Laser Target Designator)
¢ Endurance : 4 hrs. 30min.
Ground Support Systems
Mobile Hydro-Pneumatic Launcher (MHPL) system
¢ Mobile Hydro-Pneumatic Launcher (MHPL)
¢ Ground Control Station (GCS)
¢ Antenna Vehicle
¢ Avionics Preparation / Maintenance Vehicle
¢ Mechanical Maintenance Vehicle
¢ UAV Transportation Vehicle
¢ Power supply Vehicle
Launch & recovery
¢ Launch: Mobile Hydro-Pneumatic Launcher (MHPL) system
Specifications (DRDO Nishant)
General characteristics
¢ Crew: None
¢ Length: 4.63 m (15.2 ft)
¢ Wingspan: 6.57 m (21.6 ft)
¢ Height: ()
¢ Empty weight: 380 kg (837.8 lb)
¢ Useful load: 45 kg (99.2 lb)
¢ Powerplant: 1× RE-2-21-P or RE-4-37-P, ()
¢ Maximum speed: 185 km/h
¢ Cruise speed: 125 km/h to 150 km/h
¢ Range: 160 km (99.5 mi)
¢ Service ceiling: 3600 m (up to 11,810 ft)
Unmanned Aircraft design
¢ take off weight
¢ wingspan
¢ length
¢ endurance speed
¢ endurance time
¢ weight of fuel
¢ weight of avionics
¢ endurance engine power
¢ engine weight
¢ airframe weight
¢ price
1. Take off weight
WTakeOff = 0.183*(WTakeOff * WPayLoad)0.653 = [Kg]
¢ WTakeOff = takeoff weight in Kg
¢ WPayload = payload weight in Kg .Range in Km
2. Wingspan
WingSpan = 1.041*WTakeOff0.382 = [m]
¢ Wtakeoff = takeoff weight in Kgs
¢ Data for the Shadow 200 and the Hermes 180 has not been included.
3. Length

[Kg] wingspan = W
[m] length = L
[m] WS / L
Aerosonde I 13.1 2.86 1.74 1.644
Hermes 450 450 10.50 6.10 1.721
Predator MQ-1 1020 14.84 8.14 1.823
Hermes 1500 1650 18.00 9.40 1.915

average 1.775

Length = WingSpan / 1.775 = [m]
4. Endurance speed
Given the scatter in the above data, simply assume an endurance speed of 100 Kph.
endurance speed = Vendure= 100 Kph.
¢ Typically, Vendure is from 75 to 125 Kph.
5. Endurance time

endurance time = T = Range / Vendure =
6. Weight of fuel
For a flight at constant speed, we have assumed the power required to keep the plane moving is directly proportional to the total weight of the plane, which decreases in a non-linear manner with time as the fuel is used up. The weight of the plane at a distance = x is given by W(x) = Wto * exp( - x / D ), where Wto is the take-off weight of the plane, and D is a figure-of-merit for the plane we call the " characteristic distance" . Through a simple integration, it can be shown that:
D = R / ln (Wto / Wnf)
where R is the range, Wto is the take off weight and Wnf is the weight of the of the plane with no fuel on board. For simplicity, it is assumed that at the end of the UAV flying a distance = R, there is no fuel left on the UAV.
Above is a plot of D figure-of-merit values for several well known UAVs. There is quite a spread. The higher the D value, the more efficient the UAV. The average value is 6,966 Km if we ignore the low values for the Shadow 200 and the Hermes 180. The Characteristic Distance " D" figure-of-merit value, or efficiency measure, for the UAV, is the distance the UAV flies per Kg of total, time dependent (since the UAV gets lighter as it uses up the fuel), aircraft weight, per Kg of fuel used. Inverting the above relationship, we can calculate the weight of the fuel = Wf from:
weight of fuel = Wf = Wto * ( 1 - exp( - R / D ) = [Kg]
¢ D = characteristic distance of the UAV = 7,200 Km from minimisation of sum of squares error values. Since the D value can vary so much from UAV to UAV, we have included this as an input parameter in the UAV Designer Utility.
If we plot a histogram, as shown above, comparing the actual versus the predicted weight of the fuel for several UAVs, and then perform a least squares minimisation of the sum of the errors as a function of the D value, we conclude that we minimise the errors for the above UAVs when D = 7,200 Km. We have ignored the comparison for the Shadow 200 and the Hermes 180 since these two UAVs have low Characteristic Distance figures-of-merit.
7. Engine power
Maximum engine power = Peng_max = 0.169 * Wto0.927 = [Watts]
¢ with Wto = the takeoff weight in Kg
¢ we have included the electrical power required for the payload, and assumed an efficiency of 80% for the conversion of mechanical power into electrical power. Some brushless electrical motors have an efficiency rating above 80%.
8. Engine capacity
For a four stroke engine, Pout = 0.073 * x + 0.031 for Pout in KWatts, where x is the engine capacity in cc. The engine capacity = CAP is given by:
CAP = (Peng_max - 0.031) / 0.073 = [cc]
¢ Peng_end = power of the engine at endurance speeds in KWatts
9. Engine weight
¢ For a 4 stroke engine, the power-to-weight ratio = Rptw = 1.814 KW / Kg
¢ For a Wankel engine, the power-to-weight ratio = Rptw = 2.3 KW / Kg
Engine weight = Weng = Peng_max / Rptw = [Kg]
¢ Weng = weight of the engine in Kg
¢ Peng_max = the maximum engine power in KWatts
¢ Rptw = the power-to-weight ratio for the engine in KWatts / Kg
10. Airframe weight

airframe + avionics weight = Waf = Wto - Wpl - Wf - Weng = [Kg]
¢ The airframe weight includes the weight of the avionics.
This is one of the most difficult charts, since we wish to remove the costs associated with the sensor systems that are typically to be found on military UAVs. Consequently, we have removed the data points for the Predator UAV and the Global Hawk UAV, since these UAVs carry very expensive avionics, communications and sensor systems.
estimated price per UAV = 0.921*(Wpl * Range )0.600 = [$K_FY02]
¢ Wpl = weight of the payload in Kg
¢ Range = range in Km
So, here you have the basis for a rudimentary Unmanned Air Vehicle design based on relationships derived from some existing UAVs. Additionally, you have a rough price guide, albeit based on FY02 $K values. Treat these estimates as very approximate guidelines: we have derived the data from the US DoD uav_roadmap2005.pdf and have no way of knowing any of the details about the financial arrangements.
Simple Plastic Airplane Designs (S.P.A.D)
Many model airplane fliers have run into the unfortunate wrecking of the airplane that they had spent so much time and money in building. If one has never had the experience of model airplanes, they should understand that the hobby is not a cheap one. In trying to reduce the cost of this hobby, the invention of the Simple plastic airplane was introduced.
What are Simple Plastic Airplane Designs?:
The name gives an obvious description of what they are. As stated by, instead of using expensive balsa wood and plywood to build a model airplane Collin McGinnis and Dean Tuinstra, two jet engine mechanics from Wichita, Kansas came up with the idea of using common, inexpensive products to build model airplanes. The most common inexpensive products that are being used are the gutter pipe and coroplast, aluminum and anything else that is cheap and can be made to work for the components needed.
What is Coroplast?
A great definition of coroplast was found at and it states as follows,
"Coroplast„¢ is an extruded twin wall sheet made of high impact polypropylene in a variety of colors. Most commonly used in the production of commercial signs, Coroplast„¢ has also proven to be an effective, low cost building material for R/C aircraft. 2mm and 4mm material are used as various sections of the fuselage and control surfaces. More importantly, Coroplast„¢ is extremely lightweight and relatively durable making it the perfect alternative traditional building materials."
Basic materials needed to build your own S.P.A.D.( also provided by :
1. 4â„¢x8â„¢ sheet of coroplast
2. 4 yardsticks
3. 2.5 square P.V.C. gutter pipe
4. Zip ties (for servo attachment)
5. Medium CA glue
6. plywood for firewall
7. ¼ dowel for wing hold downs and push rods
8. #6x.5 self tapping screws
9. Smaller screws for control horn attachment
10. Double sided foam mounting tape for servo attachment
11. Radio, Engine, Mount, Tank, Pushrods, Hardware and Landing Gear
Helpful Tools:
1. Dremel tool with cutting wheel
2. Butane or propane torch
3. Sheet metal shears
4. Normal Shop tools and drill
5. Windex, acetone or other good cleaners
Basic Steps to Building a S.P.A.D:
The fuselage is the first thing that needs to be constructed, then the rest of the plane can be built around it. The most common material to build the fuselage out of is pvc gutter pipe. The gutter pipe is lightweight, durable and most important of all it is cheap to obtain relative to balsa wood and plywood. The fuselage should first be cut to the desired length. A dremel tool with a cutoff wheel cuts the PVC guttering very nice. The length of the fuselage to which one would desire depends on the size of plane you would like to build. On the website found at, detailed plans can be found on what dimensions the fuselage should have. After cutting the fuselage to length the next thing is to fit for servos and radio equipment. Once again, placement of these components depend on the type of plane being built. A small piece of plywood should be cut to fit the inner diameter of the PVC fuselage to be used as the planes firewall and motor mount.
After constructing the fuselage now you can build the wings for the plane. The tail wings are simply a flat piece of coroplast cut to the desired shape of the the wing. It is the main wing that sometimes causing confusion. Using the yardsticks as wing spars, cut the coroplast to the desired size and then fold it into a wing shaped around the yardstick. Each side of the wing should be constructed separately and then using a section of another yardstick set the dihedral of the wing and glue them together. Then cover the gap where the two halves of the wings join with a thin strip of the coroplast. For the more advanced wings ailerons would be added but to keep it simple on the first plane they should not be added.
Final assembly
After construction of the fuselage and wings, it is now time to put it all together. The final step should be putting the wing on due to balancing of the aircraft. Mount the fuel tank behind the fire wall and mount the engine to the plywood motor mount. Run all your fuel lines, mount the landing gear, and make sure all other components that are going to be on the plane while flying are in place. Placing the wing is very critical to the performance of the airplane, first before drilling and placing the wing holding dowels the wing should be rubber banded on the fuselage so that it is movable. The plane should be properly balanced when the fuselage is horizontal when the plane is being supported by the spar line of the wings. After finding the proper balance point, drill the holes and place the wing holding dowels and use rubber bands to hold the wing in place. You should now be ready to go flying.
1. Spar - A main structural member in an airplane wing or a tail assembly that runs from tip to tip or from root to tip.
2. Dihedral - The upward or downward inclination of an aircraft wing from true horizontal.
3. Aileron - Either of two movable flaps on the wings of an airplane that can be used to control the plane's rolling and banking movements.
Note that the previous instructions are just the basic type of plane that can be built using these techniques. Many other planes can be built using the cheep materials so do not stop here let your imagination be the limit as to the type of plane you build.
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