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MARS UNMANNED AIRCRAFT 2003-2004

ODYSSEUS TEAM
CORNELL UNIVERSITY
ADVISOR
PROFESSOR MICHEL Y. LOUGE
TEAM LEADER
ALEXANDER CHEFF HALTERMAN
DATE
APRIL 1, 2004

THE TEAM:
Team Members:
Alicia Billington
Emmanuel Franjul
Jian Gong
Alexander Halterman
(MEng
2004)
Yen-Khai Lee
Jeremy Nersasian
2
2004)
Cem Ozkaynak
Jing Pei
Mikiko Ujihara

arb351
BEE
(2006)
ef35
MAE
(2005)
jg253
ECE
(2004)
ach22
MAE
yl245
jbn5

ECE
MAE

(2004)
(MEng

co37
jp292
mu23

ECE
MAE
MAE

(2005)
(2004)
(2004)

Advisor:
Professor Michel Louge

myl3

Student ID numbers are the students e-mail address (ID#@cornell.edu i.e.


arb35@cornell.edu)
2
Ceased doing work after December 2003 due to January 2004 graduation
1

Abstract
As space exploration progresses, Mars gains more focus as the next
frontier in human exploration.

Manned missions to Mars have been

discussed and planned to a certain degree. However, before humans can


set foot on Mars, a wealth of information about Martian conditions will
need to be provided by satellites, unmanned vehicles and a myriad of
other data collection instruments.

The goal of the Odysseus team is to

design an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for flight in the lower regions of
the Martian atmosphere.

Such a vehicle would collect specific, high

resolution topographic data for speculated landing sites.

The data

returned by this aircraft will be of the utmost importance to the success of


any Mars landing mission.
This paper focuses on the aerodynamics, propulsion, structures and
electrical systems of an unmanned aerial vehicle for flight on Mars. The
Martian environment, as well as the mass sensitive nature of current
space exploration, present a set of conditions by which an aircraft must be
designed. Such a design must optimize mass, volume, flight time, power,
and instrumentation in order to create an aircraft that can be sent to Mars
with existing spacecraft while satisfying its exploratory goals once it
reaches Mars. A UAV design for Mars must incorporate the aerodynamic
properties for sustained flight in a low density atmosphere, propulsion in
an atmosphere lacking sufficient oxygen for combustion, structural
integrity with minimal mass and electrical controls for unmanned flight.
Our UAV design overcomes these daunting constraints and provides a
robust platform for reconnaissance of Mars.
The final UAV design consists of a 10.8 kg aircraft with fuselage
length of 2.1 meters, maximum fuselage diameter of 0.25 meters, and a
wingspan of 2.078 meters. For propulsion we have chosen a single 2.27-

meter diameter three-bladed propeller mounted aft of an inverted V-tail.


The

propeller

motor

as

well

as

the

topographical

and

control

instrumentation aboard the UAV is powered by multiple lithium-ion SPE


batteries.

The data produced during flight will be continuously

transmitted to satellites orbiting Mars that relay the signals to Earth.


Flight control and navigation is accomplished through feedback from onboard sensors that detect acceleration, pitch and roll.

This design

provides a flight time of 2.3 hours at a cruising speed and altitude of 130
m/s and 500 meters respectively.

Further details of our design choices

and potential alternatives are discussed within the following pages.

takes into consideration safety and


technological feasibility in order to
identify critical paths and achieve our
stated mission objectives. For instance,
much of the fuselage design relied on the
availability of a light-weight electrical
engine to provide thrust needed to stay
aloft in the low-pressure environment.
As such, several interdependencies were
stated early on and constantly revised as
we progressed.
Once the systems-level picture
was developed, each sub-team developed
its own set of trade-studies and
constraints.
Aerodynamics compared
many airfoil and wing designs using
Matlab and Excel. Propulsion compared
the feasibility of propellers, chemical
rockets, and jet engines given the
atmospheric
constraints
on
Mars.
Structures required light-weight but
durable fuselage designs.
Electrical
evaluated the capabilities of various
electrical
components
and
communication
network
designs.
Through a series of presentations to
Professor Michel Louge that focused on
our conceptual, preliminary, and final
design, we narrowed down the initial
trade-studies to a single UAV design
optimized for the Martian environment.
Our design process focuses only
on the technical aspects of flight on
Mars, from the time the UAV is deployed
through its expected life-cycle. Other
aspects of the mission, such as launch
costs and procedures, Earth-to-Mars
transit routes, aero braking techniques
upon reaching Mars, and atmospheric
deployment
feasibilities
were
not
considered in our design. Additionally,
cost, environmental impact, political
motivation and human safety were not
prevalent issues for us; however,
technological and mission feasibility
were carefully evaluated throughout the
design process. Our final design only
employs technologies that are currently
available or on the horizon while
acknowledging the many aerodynamic,
structural, propulsion, and electrical
challenges
of
deploying
a
fullyautonomous UAV on Mars for long
periods of time.

Introduction
Mars
is
indisputably
the
centerpiece of current space exploration
with both the scientific communitys
space exploration efforts and the general
publics interest focused on recent
investigative missions to the Red Planet.
In the spirit of human exploration the
Odysseus
Team
is
designing
an
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to fly on Mars
as part of the Revolutionary Vehicles:
Concepts
and
Systems
University
Student Competition for 2004 sponsored
by NASA.
A UAV serves as a
reconnaissance platform for future
manned missions to Mars. The aircraft
will carry topographical and imaging
instrumentation to produce valuable data
regarding the Martian environment.
The design of a UAV must
optimize mass, volume, flight time,
power, and instrumentation in order to
create an aircraft that can be sent to
Mars with existing spacecraft while
satisfying its exploratory goals once it
reaches Mars. Such a design for Mars
must
incorporate
the
aerodynamic
properties for sustained flight in a low
density atmosphere, propulsion in an
atmosphere lacking sufficient oxygen for
combustion, structural integrity with
minimal mass and electrical controls for
unmanned flight.
Our UAV design
overcomes these daunting constraints
and provides a robust platform for
reconnaissance of Mars.
General Design Methodology:
The design process began with
the high-level abstract evaluation of the
various objectives and constraints.
Members of the team met twice a week
to develop the mission profile, such as
the scientific motivations behind a highresolution topographical map of the
Martian surface and atmospheric profile,
both of which are not currently possible
using existing satellites or landers.
Following the mission profile, we
consolidated the various engineering
aspects aerodynamics, structures,
propulsion, electrical systems into a
systems-level hierarchy of the conceptual
UAV design. Each level of the hierarchy

abundance of CO2 (over 95%) that makes


up the Martian atmosphere. This lower
value, along with the lower ambient
temperature, causes a lower speed of
sound, approximately 75% of that on
Earth. This means that speeds need to
be further limited to avoid sonic
conditions.
Other considerations on Mars
include the rampant dust storms that can
spring up unexpectedly and make flight
very difficult. These dust storms are
seasonal, allowing a wise launch and
flight time to reliably eliminate this
potentially devastating threat.

Table 1: Martian Atmospheric Constants


artian Atmosphere and Environment:
Designing
an
aerial
vehicle
requires knowledge of the environmental
conditions the craft will be flying in. One
must
know temperature,
pressure,
density and viscosity as functions of
surface conditions and altitude. We have
equations published by NASA that give
acceptable and reasonable fits for
atmospheric data.
The equations are
valid below 7000 Meters, which is above
our cruise altitude, in an effort to
capitalize on the largest density possible,
these equations work well.

T T0 .000998 * h

(0)

P P0 e h

(0)

Table 2: Cruise Velocity Atmospheric Conditions

Aerodynamics Design
Introduction
As stated previously, the design of
an aerial vehicle for Mars is a tricky
process due to the planets harsh
environmental conditions. Normally one
begins an aircraft design process by
defining take-off and landing scenarios,
as well as approach to cruise altitude,
but the fact that this vehicle will be
launched
from
orbit
makes
this
unnecessary.
Our first step is to determine the
wing loading necessary for the most
efficient flight in cruise. Wing loading is
the force per unit area on the wing
during steady state flight conditions,
which is important to determine for two
reasons. First, it fixes the area of the
wing.
Knowing the wing loading
simplifies the minimum drag analysis by
tying
the
wingspan
and
mean
aerodynamic chord (M.A.C.) together.
Optimization then becomes a question of
choosing the correct aspect ratio and
taper ratio. The second reason involves
the fuel efficiency; aircraft designed with
combustion
powered
engines
are
sensitive
to
atmospheric
changes;
therefore flight at the correct altitude
becomes important. Thrust specific fuel
consumption (TSFC), a relationship

Equations ( 0 ) and ( 0 ) give the


temperature
and
pressure
profiles
respectively based on surface values.
Where is a constant (9e-5m-1) and h is
altitude in meters. From temperature
and pressure we extrapolate data for
density and speed of sound using known
values and laws. The ideal gas law ( 0 )
gives us density as a function of
temperature, pressure and the gas
constant R, which is 192.1 on Mars.
Equation ( 0 ) solves for viscosity as a
function of temperature. Speed of sound,
a, is found using equation ( 0 ) and
known values such as the ratio of specific
heats, and temperature.
T pR

408.17
10
10
T

120

36.592T 1.5

a sonic

RT

(0)

(0)

(0)

is usually seen to take the value 1.4


because that is its number for the air on
Earth. is 1.289 on Mars due to the

between distance and fuel required, is


ultimately a function of air density and
thus altitude is the determining factor
for fuel efficiency. TSFC sets an altitude
for efficient cruise flight, from which a
wing loading can be chosen to attain
cruise conditions at the desired altitude.
By choosing a specific wing loading the
designer can fix the wing area for a craft
with a target weight.
Our design did not have the
luxury of using thrust specific fuel
consumption to fix wing area.
Our
aircraft will be propeller driven and run
off electrical energy. Since our energy
source has no dependence on pressure
or density, we can not set an optimum
cruise altitude. So we begin the design
process without a specified wing area.
With this area we would have been able
to
find
appropriate
airfoils,
find
maximum CL/CD values and proceed to
optimize the aspect ratio dependant on
wing weight and induced drag from wing
end conditions. Without it, wing area
becomes another parameter we need to
optimize.
Next we begin our search for
suitable airfoils.
Since the Martian
atmosphere
is
approximately
one
hundredth the density of Earths and the
craft is small in comparison to
commercial aircraft, Reynolds numbers
will be very low. Traditionally, planes fly
well into the turbulent boundary layer
regime, with a Reynolds number on an
order of 106. With the conditions we are
given, Reynolds number values will be
between 40,000 and 80,000, with 80,000
being an extreme value that is unlikely.
Dealing with such low Reynolds
numbers poses a problem; boundary
layers are largely laminar, which are
notorious for flow separation due to low
inertial forces.
A craft flying in a
laminar regime must utilize an airfoil
designed specifically for low Reynolds
flows.
Traditional airfoil shapes are
designed for turbulent conditions and
will
not
suffice
in
the
Martian
atmosphere. On the advice of Professor
David Caughey of Cornell University, we
considered research done by Professor
Michael Selig of the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign. Professor Selig

has done a remarkable amount of work


with low Reynolds airfoils and has a
wealth of data available, including lift
and drag coefficients at various angles of
attack, as well as coordinates that can be
used to numerically generate airfoils.
With his data, we proceed with an airfoil
design.
We use Matlab and Excel to
search
through
roughly
1500
of
Professor Seligs airfoils to find those
most suitable for our applications.
Rough calculations show that for
velocities limited to Mach 0.6 and
Reynolds numbers between 40,000 and
65,000, lift coefficients are best chosen
to be 0.3-0.6. This is a relatively low
value, but reasonable for this particular
application. With low Reynolds numbers,
due to the need for a large chord and a
small wing area, a lift coefficient that is
too high would tend to limit aspect
ratios.
Induced
drag
becomes
overwhelming in this situation, causing
inefficient flight.
With a rough value for the lift
coefficient, we use Matlab to inspect
different airfoils for high lift-to-drag
ratios in the correct regime. Fifteen
airfoils are selected that have good
characteristics
around
the
aforementioned CL values.
Finding a
high ratio of CL/CD for 2D data does not
guarantee a good airfoil. Rather,
Reynolds number, maximum thicknessto-chord ratio and actual lift coefficient
are
also
important.
Since
the
relationships are complicated and hard
to judge by inspection we input the
potential airfoils into Excel solver to find
the optimum geometry and minimum
drag for each airfoil.
This completes the initial wing
design. All that remains is to select the
proper sweep angle that approximates
an elliptical lift distribution. This can be
done after the geometry is largely set,
then optimized a second time to come up
with the most efficient wing possible.
Design Assumptions:

Before we begin the design


process, we need to make certain
assumptions to determine the optimal
wing structure. These assumptions are
made to account for the fact that we are
not in possession of accurate data for
every scope of our design process. If this
design is to be finalized for physical
flight on Mars, accurate weather data
and atmospheric gradients need to be
obtained to verify or refute our current
calculations. This kind of data collection

large factor, and the tests would be


inaccurate. Efforts for backing up this
assumption are outlined later.
Finally we assume that the wing
weight estimation we use is accurate.
Equation ( 0 ), later in the paper, uses a
series of constants, as well as geometric
and dynamic conditions, to make an
estimate
for
wing
weight
given
conditions.
We use this data in
optimizations to limit span. The values

Figure 2: Drag vs. a For a Low Reynolds


Airfoil

Figure 1: Drag vs. a for a Standard


Airfoil

from this equation agree with the values


the structures team obtain using the
software Pro-Engineer and a suitable
material. This appears to be a valid
assumption.

is out of the scope of this project and


therefore
we
assume
that
our
atmospheric representation is correct.
We have a list of equations, described in
the previous Martian Atmosphere and
Environment section of the report, that
provide a rough model of the Martian
atmosphere.
We also assume the Selig airfoil
data to be correct for all of the airfoils he
tested. His tests were done in a 3 foot
wind tunnel using a rectangular wing
with a 33.375 inch span and a 12 inch
chord. These dimensions suggest Seligs
decision to minimize 3D aerodynamic
effects and that the data collected was
analogous to that of a 2D airfoil. The
fact that the span of the airfoil was so
large in comparison to the tunnel
strongly supports this theory. If this was
not the case, blockage effects would be a

Lift Coefficient (CL) selection:


We begin the wing design by
finding a lift coefficient.
Since the
airfoils we are dealing with are for
laminar flow, the drag data is very
erratic, making it nearly impossible to
find a valid curve that fits the data.
Although the lift curve slopes from the
data are very close to linear, the fact that
drag is so far off makes curve fitting to
find
continuous
points
virtually
impossible.
Generally speaking, drag
data from airfoils will follow a parabolic
curve (see Error: Reference source not

found) in the region of the drag bucket.


This allows you to fit a second order
polynomial to the data, and find values of
drag at continuous points on the curve.
Error: Reference source not found shows
an example of drag data from one of the
Selig airfoils we are considering. It can
be seen that in low Reynolds airfoils
laminar bubbles and possibly hysteresis
in the switching from laminar to
turbulent boundary layer conditions
result in erratic data. A parabolic curve
of the form

chance of finding a suitable airfoil with


that specific data point is unlikely.
Instead, we consider a range of lift
coefficient values dependant on Reynolds
number. As Reynolds number increases,

C D C D0 kC L2 , where k is an

arbitrary constant, can give an accurate


fit to the drag data in Error: Reference
source not found. Using this parabolic fit
and the easily obtained lift curve slope,
we can find CL and CD values for any
angle of attack, given a wing planform
and an aspect ratio.
Since the data does not yield a
valid curve fit, we are forced to use the
discrete values that are provided with
the Selig data. The best option for the
laminar regime is to find a wing that is
suitable for our purpose and test it for
numerous angles of attack and use the
data acquired. This is a time consuming
process and is unfeasible given the time
and resources available, so our choice is
to use discrete data in place of more
expansive experimental data.
With discrete data we cannot
determine an exact lift coefficient, as the

Chart 1: Optimal CL Values

Table 3: Optimal CL for a


Given Re
with all other variables being held
constant, velocity increases and results
in a lower lift coefficient needed for the
same net lift. The opposite is also true; a
low Reynolds number has a lower
velocity,
requiring
a
higher
lift
coefficient. For the high end values of
Reynolds number, around 65,000, a CL
value of around 0.35 is optimal. At the
other extreme, for the low Reynolds
number case, a value of approximately
0.55 is optimal.
These optimized CL
values are determined using an Excel
spreadsheet
to
generate
feasible
planforms for a given Reynolds number.
With constraints set by the user and a
specific value for Reynolds number, the
solver generates optimal planforms for
that condition. Angle of attack is one of
the constraints, so an optimal value for
CL is found for each airfoil and entered
Reynolds number.
Since drag is related to velocity
and we desire a low value for drag, a low
Reynolds number will yield a lower drag.
A CL of 0.55 is set as the design lift

Figure 3: Matlab User Interface for


Airfoil Analysis

Table 4: Design Constraints

coefficient
with
a
corresponding
Reynolds number of 40,000. However,
this estimation does not take into
account base drag of different airfoils,
which play a small part in the overall
drag. Further work shows that this CL
value is optimal.

weight is a secondary factor in


comparison to drag optimization, and
thus is not included as one of the
constraints.

Computational analysis:
Computational analysis makes up
a large percentage of the work involved
in obtaining a sound model for the airfoil
characteristics.
Sorting through 650
airfoils is a manageable task with Matlab
analyzing each airfoil and linking it to an
Excel spreadsheet. The initial stages
involve writing code to take the data and
put it in a user friendly form. The design
of a graphical user interface (GUI),
shown in Error: Reference source not
found further eases the process of airfoil
selection. The user can browse various
airfoils based on target Reynolds number
and vary plots of data until desirable
curves are found.
Saving the layout
allows us to return to configurations at a
later point for further review.
This
allows for simultaneous generation of
several acceptable planforms for various
airfoils.
The Target Re field allows the
user to search for the airfoils closest to
the desired Reynolds number. The fields
that follow are outputted data relevant to
the current airfoil. This is useful for
visualizing the current wing design to
verify that the geometry is acceptable on
aesthetic and packaging standpoints.
Buttons allow the user to browse various
angles of attack and cycle through
different Reynolds number airfoils with
ease. The user is also able to select
between graphs of CD vs. CL, CL vs. , CD
vs. and CD/CL vs. depending on the
desired lift and drag characteristics of an
airfoil.
Excel parameterizes the planform
layouts and reduces the design problem
to four variables with given geometric
constraints: wing span, root chord, tip
chord and sweep angle. (See Error:
Reference source not found) Since the
initial optimization objective is to find
the lowest possible drag for reasonable
geometric constraints, overall wing

Airfoil Selection:
Using the Matlab GUI with the
Selig data we can narrow down the 650
airfoils to 9. This is done by selecting
airfoils that have high CL/CD values at the
design lift coefficient of 0.55 and a
Reynolds number between 40,000 and
65,000. As Reynolds number increases,
the CL/CD values required for a feasible
airfoil increase due to the need for a
lower aspect ratio and the resulting
increase in induced drag. This results in
fewer airfoils that meet our goal as the
Reynolds numbers increase.
With secondary optimization of
the nine airfoils selected, six have
favorable characteristics. Only one of
these surpasses the others in both low
drag and low weight (see Error:
Reference source not found).
Airfoil
gm15 makes possible a planform of low
weight, short wing span and low drag.
Note that sweep value refers to the
sweep angle added in addition to the
sweep induced from the taper ratio. The
actual leading edge sweep angle will be
higher than this value.
Based
on
the
geometric
properties for our selected airfoil, our
calculations yield an aspect ratio of 8.22
and a wing platform area of 0.525 m 2.
The aspect ratio is defined as b2/S; for a
given wing area, S, a large aspect ratio
means a large span.
From a drag
standpoint, a large AR, between 7 and
10, is a well designed wing. However, a
large span means larger bending
moments in the wing structure, due to
lift loads acting farther from the root of
the wing, resulting in additional weight
needed to withstand the increase in
bending moment; something discussed in
the Structures section.
Taper ratio is the ratio of tip
chord to root chord, in our case 0.2. A
wing with a low taper ratio, referred to
as a highly tapered wing, tends to have

lower lift coefficients on the outer


portion of the wing, as the downwash
pattern changes, toward an elliptical lift
distribution. Low taper ratio also results
in larger chords and wing thickness
inboard where the bending moments are
the largest, moving the lift in towards
the craft, reducing the aerodynamic
bending moments. Both of these effects
are favorable for wing structural weight.
However, low taper ratio wings have a
tendency to stall at the tip, which is
prevented with wing twist.
With the final structural and
electrical weights we find that a slight
increase in wing area, to produce more
lift, is required for cruise flight. We
decided that we will keep the span
constant and obtain the additional
required platform area by increasing the
taper ratio. The final taper ratio is 0.35,
which leads to a platform area of 0.6 m 2,
a new AR of 7.2 and an increased safety
factor of greater than 1.2
Geometric twist is the equivalent
of taking a straight wing, and applying a
moment about its axis, causing the tip of
the wing to be at a different angle than
the root of the wing, in our case,
negative three degrees. A positive value
of twist refers to an increase in angle of
attack along the span of the wing. A
negative
twist
value,
known
as
washout, greatly increases the stability
of the craft by causing stall to occur at
the root of the wing before occurring at
the wing tip. When this happens, control
can still be maintained due to the
moment that can be generated from the
tips of the wings to control the rolling
motion of the craft.

Table 5: Multiple Optimization Results


for 6 wings

with a mid-wing design, we are placing


the wing in the middle of the fuselage.

Mean Aerodynamic Chord & Center


Mean aerodynamic chord ( c ,
M.A.C.)
is
a
parameter,
directly
associated with the Reynolds number (
Vc / ).
Equation ( 0 ) shows the
M.A.C. as a function of the taper ratio ( )
and the exposed root chord (CR).

M . A.C .

Wing Tip Selection


A wing tip can prevent high
pressure air beneath the wing to escape
around the tip of the wing to the low
pressure region above, resulting in a loss
of lift at the tip of the wing, which is
highly undesirable. Four different wing
tip designs are considered: rounded,
sharp, winglets and unswept. A smoothrounded tip is precisely what we want to
avoid. It easily permits air to flow around
the tip and reduces lift at the tip. A sharp
edge makes it more difficult for the air to
flow around the tip, because the flow
often separates at these edges. A winglet
or endplate blocks the flow from the
bottom to the top of the wing. This offers
the greatest benefit to low aspect ratio
wings whose wing tip vortex is strong, by
increasing the effective wingspan, which
further decreases induced drag.
Our
concern with using a winglet is the
additional wetted area, which will create
a larger parasite drag nullifying any
reduction in induced drag. An unswept
wing tip curves upward to increase the
effective wing. We are using this design
since it is similar to adding a winglet,
without an increase in total wetted area.

C R (1
) 0.307 ( 0 )
3
1

Y, the distance of the M.A.C. from the


centerline of the aircraft is 0.436 meters.
This distance is dependent upon the taper
ratio and the wing span. Aerodynamic
center is the point on the aircraft where
the airfoil pitching moment is constant
with a change in angle of attack.
It
determines where to position the wing,
and is important in stability calculations.
In subsonic flow, the aerodynamic center
is typically located at the quarter-chord
point on the mean aerodynamic chord
line, which is found to be 0.0768 meters
from the leading edge of the wing.
From equations historically used in
aircraft design, such as Equation ( 0 ), we
conclude that the aerodynamic center will
be located 0.703 meters from the nose of
the UAV.

A.C. 1.5C R 0.25c

(0)

Wing
Weight
and
Structural
Considerations:
With any extraterrestrial mission
weight is a top priority. Our mission is no
different.
Generally, wing weight
selection is an iterative process between a
structures team and an aerodynamics
team.
Due to time constraints, we
approximate the wing weight with
equation ( 0 ), a formula based on
historical data used by many aircraft
manufacturers as an initial wing weight.
The formula is a relationship between,
dynamic pressure, q, aspect ratio, AR,

Wing Vertical Position


The wings vertical placement with
respect to the fuselage can be at three
locations: atop, below or through the
middle of the fuselage.
A high wing
design is used primarily for cargo planes,
allowing the fuselage to be placed closer
to the ground. However, the passing of
the wing box over the fuselage will
increase the parasite and pressure drag
due to the increase in frontal area. This
increase in frontal area is also present in
a low wing design, which is used by
virtually all commercial transport aircraft
due to the advantages in landing stowage.
Since we are not concerned about
landing, we have no need for a low wing
design. The advantage to a mid-wing
design is that it gives the UAV more
maneuverability while having a lower
frontal area than the high or the low wing
design. Due to the advantages associated

(a)

(b)

Figure 4: (a) Upswept Wingtip (b) Inverted V-Tail

total aircraft weight, Wdg, thickness-tochord ratio, t/c, load factor, n, taper ratio,
, wing area, Sw, sweep angle, , and a
multitude of constants, C1 through C14,
that have been obtained using years of
data for three classes of aircraft: fighter,
transport and general aviation. Using the
general aviation constants and the
planned weight of the craft, 10 Kg, a
circular reference of wing area, lift force,
total craft weight and wing weight is
created in Excel. Turning on the iteration
command in Excel causes the values to
converge to a steady state solution for
weight analysis, solving with ease a
process otherwise overly complicated by
hand.

Wwing C1C2C3WdgC4 n C5 S wC6 AC7 t


... C9

C10

cos

C11

C12
f

C13

q W

C8

(0)

C14
fw

The goal in selecting an airfoil for


the tail is similar to the wing, in that we
want an airfoil with high lift-to-drag
ratios.
Since tails are small wings
themselves, we look at the final low
Reynolds number airfoils from the wing
selection process. The main purpose of
tails is not to generate lift, but to provide
stability and control. For this reason,
airfoils used for tails typically have little
to no chamber to them. Since our wing
airfoil has high camber, the chosen wing
airfoil, gm15, is not applicable for the tail.
Based on lift and drag data, as well as
amount of camber, we limit our choices to
four airfoils: SD 7003, S6063, S7012, and
RG14, all of which have only slight
camber to them. Plotting the CL/CD vs.
angle of attack () data for all four, we
find the tail desired angle of attack to be
between 3 and 5 degrees. By comparing
the values of CL/CD at 3 degrees for each
candidate, it is apparent that SD7003 is
the best airfoil at the value we need for
angle of attack.

Tail Arrangement Selection


Tails act as small wings; their
purpose is to provide trim, stability and
control to the craft.
Trim is the
generation of the proper lift force to
balance pitching moment about the
center of gravity. Stability and control
are the tails ability to restore the aircraft
from a perturbation in pitch, yaw, and
roll, which is discussed in detail in the
section of stability and control.
There are a variety of possible afttail arrangements. Our design focus is on
reducing parasite drag. We can thus
narrow our search to four possible tail
configurations based primarily on the
wetted area of each tail configuration:
conventional, V-tail, inverted V and Y-tail.
Conventional tails, used on over
70% of all aircraft, have the typical
vertical and horizontal tail seen on most
commercial airliners.
It provides
adequate stability and control at a
reasonably light weight. With the V-tail,
as the name suggests, the vertical and
horizontal tail components are combined
in an attempt to reduce the wetted area.
The horizontal and vertical forces, on the
V-tail, are the resultant of their respective
projections from the two angled surfaces.
In order to provide the proper
movement, the rudder and elevator on a
V-tail
are
combined
to
create
ruddervators. The problem with a V-tail
is the production of a rolling moment in
opposition to the desired direction of
turn,
known
as
adverse
roll-yaw
coupling. This produces a spiraling
tendency when the UAV is making a turn.
The inverted V-tail avoids this problem; it
instead produces a desirable proverse
roll-yaw coupling.
The Y-tail is similar to the V-tail,
with a reduced dihedral angle and a third
surface mounted vertically beneath the V,
giving the UAV more yaw control. A drag
penalty involved with adding another
control surface causes the Y-tail design,
like the conventional design, to not fit our
design goals of minimizing drag. Using
an inverted V-tail gives us the low drag
required with greater stability than the
standard V-tail.

Stability and Control


Stability and control is an integral
part of designing an aircraft. It is vital
that the aircraft is stable and able to
handle
moments,
from
various
disturbances, while maintaining control.
An aircraft possesses three degrees of
freedom, pitch, roll, and yaw, and has two
types of stability, static and dynamic. A
system is statically stable if forces and
moments acting on a body, as a result of a
disturbance, initially act to return the
body towards its equilibrium position. A
system is dynamically stable if it
eventually returns to and maintains its
equilibrium position over a period of time.
For our case, our top concern is
longitudinal static stability, involving the
pitching moments about the center of
gravity. Though, as with any aircraft,
lateral-directional static stability and
control involving yaw/roll moments are
also important.
The steps to design a stable
aircraft are as follows:
1) Make an assumption for the
location of the center of gravity
with respect to the nose of the
aircraft

Tail Airfoil Selection

2) Make an educated guess regarding


the placement/sizing of the tail
3) Determine the moment about the
center of gravity due to the wing,
fuselage, tail, and payload
4) If
the
moment
coefficient,
calculated in equation ( 0 ), at zero
lift (Cm L=0) is positive and the
slope of the moment coefficient
versus angle of attack (dCM/d) is
negative,
the
aircraft
is
longitudinally and statically stable
5) Reiterate the process if necessary
6) Determine the static margin

CM

M cg
1
2

V 2 Sc

weight distribution. This layout can be


seen in Error: Reference source not
found. According to our calculations the
center of gravity will be 0.85 meters aft of
the nose of the UAV. Moment calculations
yield a moment coefficient value of -0.153
(negative moment being in the clockwise
direction.)
In order to satisfy the first stability
criteria, a CM,cg greater than zero, the tail
must be large enough to balance the
clockwise moment produced by the
payload and lift forces. According to our
calculations the tail moment coefficient
must be larger than 0.194. The moment
coefficient is defined as Vhat(it+eo), where
Vh is the tail volume coefficient, at is the
lift curve slope of the tail airfoil (~ 0.1), it
is the tail setting angle (~3 by standard
convention), and eo is the downwash
angle, which can be neglected.

(0)

Equation ( 0 ) solves for the moment


coefficient about the center of gravity,
where M is the moment contribution
about the center of gravity, is the
density of the atmosphere, V is the cruise
speed, S is the wing platform area and c
is
the
mean
aerodynamic
chord,
dependent on taper ratio.
We use equation ( 0 ) to determine
the moment coefficient about the center
of gravity at zero lift; recall that this value
must be positive for the aircraft to be
stable. The first term on the right hand
side of the equation is the moment
contribution from the wing and the
fuselage, about the center of gravity. The
second term is the moment contribution
from the tail. CM(payload) is the moment
induced by the payload. The moment
coefficient about the center of gravity
from the wing and fuselage, CM,CGwb, is
approximated as the sum of the moment
contribution of the wing body about the
aerodynamic center and the moment
generated by the lift force from the wing,
M cgw M acw LW cos w ( hc hacw ) . Drag
terms are not included in the calculation
of wing and fuselage moment coefficient,
as they are negligible compared to the
other terms. Solving equation ( 0 ) gives
us a value of 0.041 for CM,CGwb.
M ,cg

L 0

Vh

lt St
cw S w

(0)

Vh, the tail volume coefficient, is


proportional to lt , the distance of the tail
from the center of gravity, St ,the platform
area of the tail, cw , the M.A.C. of the wing
and Sw , the wing platform area.
Equation ( 0 )shows that the further away
the tail is from the center of gravity, the
smaller the area of the tail needs to be.
We want to make the tail large enough to
give us adequate stability, but not as to
further increase the parasite drag.
To
optimize both parameters, we set the tail
platform area, St, to be 0.15 square
meters and the tail moment arm, Lt, to be
1 meter.
Solving for tail moment
coefficient yields a value of 0.25, which
more than compensates for the moment
coefficient from wing, fuselage and the
payload.

dCm
d

h hacwb Vh t / 1

d
d

(0)

With the first stability criteria


satisfied, we can solve equation ( 0 ) for
the second criteria, negative dCM/d
Where and tare the lift curve slopes of
the wing and the tail respectively, the
quantity (h - hacwb) is the distance between
the center of gravity and the aerodynamic

C M ,cgwb VHat (it , eo ) C M ( payload )( 0 )

To
determine
the
moment
coefficient from the payload, we establish
a series of point loads to approximate the

center, and d/d is the rate of change of


the downwash angle with respect to the
angle
of
attack
for
the
wing,
approximately 0.45. dCM/d satisfies the
second stability criteria with a value -0.03
With both of the criteria satisfied
the UAV is longitudinally and statically
stable. The neutral point is a fixed point
on the UAV behind the center of gravity
where dCM/d is equal to zero, and must
be aft of the center of gravity in order to
achieve longitudinal stability.
Setting
dCM/d to zero and solving for h gives the
location of the neutral point at 1.06
meters from the nose of the craft. The
static margin, the difference between the
neutral point and the center of gravity, is
0.217m.
This parameter is directly
related to the stability of the UAV, the
larger the static margin, the greater the
pitching moment must be to cause a
change in the pitching angle. However,
too large a static margin may cause the
flight controller to go unstable due to
unacceptably high reaction latency. On
the other hand, too low of a static margin
will yield an aircraft that is inherently
unstable in regards to pitching motion,
and will require very fast control
response to maintain steady state cruise
conditions. Our static margin is between
these two extremes, allowing stability
without an over-active controller.
In
many
ways,
the
lateraldirectional
analysis
resembles
the
longitudinal analysis. Lateral-directional
stability is the tendency of the UAV to
return to a wing-level attitude after being
displaced from a level attitude by roll or
yaw moments, from such things as
turbulent air.
There are two primary
factors for lateral-directional stability:
wing dihedral angle and wing sweepback
angle. Dihedral angle is the angle at
which the wings are slanted upwards
from the root to the tip; its main purpose
is to correct roll moments. The stabilizing
effect of dihedral occurs when an aircraft
sideslips slightly as one wing is forced
down in turbulent air or during a turn.

0m

0.25

0.65

0.75

0.85

This sideslip results in a difference in the


angle of attack between the higher and
the lower wing. The increased angle of
attack on the lower wing produces an
increase in lift which helps the wing
return to its level position.
Research
leads us to a dihedral angle of 3.5
degrees.
Sweepback is the angle between
the line formed from the front of the wing
and the line perpendicular to the
centerline, in the plain of the aircraft.
The effect of sweepback in producing
lateral stability is similar to that dihedral
angle.
A yaw moment increases the
sweepback angle in one wing panel and
decreases it for the other side of the
aircraft. The change in sweep alters the
effective dynamic pressure normal to the
quarter-chord line of the wing panel,
increasing the lift on one side of the wing,
lowering it on the other side, and
producing a restoring moment. Historical
trends in wing sweep back give us a
sweep angle of 5 degrees.
Tail Geometry

1.60

cg
1.17kg Lidar
Controls

4.2kg
Battery

0.61kg
Camera

1.8kg
Motor

5 Vehicle
Figure 5: Payload Point Mass Layout for Aerial

1.75

2.1
m

0.6kg
0.43kg
drive shaft Propeller

Having found the platform area of


the tail, St based on stability constraints,
it is important that we obtain the tail
geometry. Determining the aspect ratio is
crucial; having a large aspect ratio
corresponds to a small chord, which
further leads to an unusually low
Reynolds number.
Likewise, a small
aspect ratio will lead to a substantial
increase in induced drag. After much
consideration we decided on an aspect
ratio of 4. Using a taper ratio similar to
that of the wing, 0.35, we determined the
length of the tail root and tip chord.
Similar to that of the wing, the tail mean
aerodynamic chord ( ct ) is a function of
the root chord and the taper ratio. Based
the ct value, we determined the tail
Reynolds number, which is approximately
30,000. This value is in fact only half of
the optimum Reynolds number suggested
for
our
selected
airfoil
(SD7003).
However, because the tail angle of attack
will be small, boundary layer separation
would almost be nonexistent. Therefore it
is ok for the operating Reynolds to be
smaller than the optimal value.

major contributor to flying safety,


indicating the minimum speed that will
keep the UAV aloft. When an aircraft flies
below the stall speed, flow around the
airfoil begins to separate; as a result, a
rapid loss in lift will be experienced. At
that point, if the velocity is not increased
beyond the stall speed, the aircraft will
lose altitude and thus lose control.
Equation ( 0 ) determines the stall speed
where W is the aircraft weight, is the
fluid density, S is the wing platform area
and CLmax is the maximum lift coefficient
of our airfoil, obtained from the graph of
CL vs. angle of attack. Our aircraft has a
stall speed of 83.4 m/s; we must fly above
this speed in order to maintain adequate
lift.
Since our main goal is to map as
much terrain as possible, it is necessary
to maximize the range. To do so, we must
fly at the speed where lift to drag ratio is
greatest, given in equation ( 0 ) where CDP
is the parasite drag coefficient and AR is
the aspect ratio of the wing.

2W
SCl MAX

(0)

2W
S C DP AR e

(0)

Vstall

Control
The primary aerodynamic controls
available are ailerons, elevators, and
rudders. Because we are incorporating a
V-tail design, the functions of elevators
and rudders will be combined into one.
Ailerons are the primary roll-control
device, which operate by increasing lift on
one wing and reducing it on another.
They range from 50 to 90 percent of the
wingspan and 20 percent of the wing
chord length.
Since the aircraft is
unmanned,
a
suitable,
redundant
controller must be designed to stabilize
and maneuver the aircraft. Furthermore,
being a 6 degree of freedom system, a
soundly
designed
multi-input/multioutput, or MIMO controller to be used is
required for an aircraft. The designing of
such controllers are currently beyond our
expertise.

V L / Dmax

Range is maximized when VL/D is


130 m/s (Mach number of 0.56). If the
cruising speed is set to be greater than
this value, then there will be a substantial
increase in drag. Values deviating from
this velocity will result in a loss of range.
Turning Performance
Maneuverability
plays
an
important role in the design of an aircraft.
Unlike combat planes that perform sharp
turns, our UAV only needs to be able to
slowly turn to avoid physical obstacles
that it may encounter.
A crucial
parameter in trying to figure out the
turning performance of the aircraft is the
load factor, n, defined as the ratio of liftto-weight. In our case, n is approximately
equal to 1.095. The wing bank angle,
defined as cos-1(1/n), is approximately 24
degrees. Ailerons control the wing bank
angle by equal and opposite deflection of

Cruise Performance
The stall speed is determined
directly by wing loading and the
maximum lift coefficient. Stall speed is a

the two wings trailing edges, one up and


one down; thus increasing lift on one side
and decreases lift on the other side of the
aircraft, inducing a roll moment about the
centerline. A rolling moment banks the
airplane and tilts the lift vector to one
side. The horizontal component of the lift
vector accelerates the aircraft laterally,
thereby curving the flight path. Equation
( 0 ) solves for the minimum radius of
turn, R.

V2
g n2 1

dynamics (CFD) package, we justify this


assumption with appropriate calculations.
While the Selig airfoils are normalized by
Reynolds number, Martian conditions vary
greatly from those in Professor Seligs
wind tunnel.
The first step to CFD is creating a
mesh containing the airfoil in a large
space with boundary conditions to
simulate the Martian environment for our
airfoil. This is done, using GAMBIT, from
grid points outlining the 2D airfoil

(0)

Because of our relatively small load


factor, n, we obtain a value of 10.5 km for
our turn radius. The UAV is not capable of
performing a sharp turns; this is not a
problem as we will have adequate
warning for any turns that need to be
made and the controller can take into
account minimum turn radius. Equation (
0
)
describes
the
turning
rate
(degrees/time) for the UAV, how large
your turn is, in degrees, per unit time.

d g n ^ 2 1

dt
V

(0)
Figure 7:
CL vs. for CFD (Green) and
Selig (Red)data

Fluent Analysis (Selig Data Verification)


It is stated in the aerodynamic
assumptions section that Professor Seligs
data for his numerous airfoils are correct.
Using Fluent, a computational fluid

CL/CD vs. for CFD (Blue)


obtained from Professor Seligs database
and resizing it for our chord length.
Once FLUENT reads the mesh we
specify the atmospheric and flying
conditions. In this case the closest to
Martian atmosphere that can be used is
an environment of carbon dioxide. In
FLUENT we set the fluid properties to the
values from Error: Reference source not
found in the section on atmospheric data
and a gravitational constant of 3.72 m/s2,
roughly 4/10ths the magnitude of gravity
on earth. Boundary conditions are set
that specify the pressure far from the
airfoil and the velocity in terms of x-y
components and Mach number. The x-y
components allow us to vary the angle of
attack without the need of creating a new
mesh for each angle of attack we want to
test

Figure 7:
FLUENT Pressure Gradient
Around Airfoil
(Red =
High Pressure
Blue = Low
Pressure)
Figure 6

With fluid and environmental


properties
set
we
determine
the
appropriate method to use to perform
calculations. Since we are flying in with a
low Reynolds number we use a laminar
boundary regime.
To verify our assumption about the
Selig data it is necessary to run
simulations at several angles of attack.
With a chart of this data we can compare
the CFD data with that from Selig and
find that, while they do not lie directly on
top of each other, they both yield an
acceptable coefficient of lift for an angle
of attack between two and three. The
CFD data gives slightly higher CL values
than the Selig data. Since we are backing
up an assumption based on experimental
data, not determining values, this
inconsistency is acceptable. If this error
were on the side of lower lift we would
have to do more calculations to make sure
there is no problem. As this is not the
case, it stands that our assumption
regarding the validity of the Selig data is
acceptable.

Propulsion Design
Introduction
Low atmospheric density and the
lack
of
appreciable
amounts
of
atmospheric
oxygen
complicate
the
propulsion for a Mars airplane. These
constraints lead to the consideration of
propulsion
options
that
are
more
restrictive than those of Earth.
The analysis carried out in the
propulsion section of this report is based
on an airplane that is not landing intact
on the surface of Mars once flight is
completed; if an airplane is intended to
land or take-off from Martian soil, a new
set of design specifications need to be
considered.
Propulsion Selection
Since the use of a combustion
engine is not feasible due to the lack of
oxygen, our choices for the propulsion
subsystem are limited. There are two
methods to propulsion we consider for
Martian aerial flight: chemical propulsion
and propeller driven propulsion by an
energy source.
The use of monopropellant rocket
thrusters enables combustion without the
need for atmospheric oxygen, by carrying
chemical
compounds
that
burn
spontaneously when ignited. It provides
the UAV with uniform thrust; however,
once ignited, the process cannot be
stopped until the fuel runs out.
Bipropellant thrusters, on the
other hand, carry fuel and oxidizer
separately. They are more practical in
this case since the thruster can be turned
on or off in order to maintain cruise speed
at V(L/dmax).
Bipropellant thrusters,
however, tend to be more complicated to
design.
The thrusters found for our
design
constrains
are
capable
of
generating anywhere from 5 to 20 N of
thrust and have a specific impulse, Isp, in
the range of 300 to 350 seconds. Isp, a
key performance parameter for rockets, is
defined as the thrust that can be obtained
with a propellant weight flow of 1 unit per
second. Modern large scale rockets, like
the one found on the Shuttle, can achieve
a maximum Isp of around 450 s.
The second approach to propulsion

we consider is the use of energy from an


on-board battery, nuclear device or an offboard energy source, such as solar
energy, to power a propeller.
Solar
powered airplanes must have a large
projected area to collect sufficient solar
power and are inefficient when the solar
intensity is low, as it is on Mars.
Solid
rocket
propulsion
is
inherently simple; yet, as mentioned
before, there is no way to control the
thrust once ignited.
Bipropellant
thrusters run the risk of explosion due to
low atmospheric temperature on Mars.
Our calculations also indicate that for the
same weight, a battery driven propeller
would yield a much greater range than for
a bipropellant thruster, so we select
propeller as our form of propulsion
.
Propeller Design Overview
From past Mars aircraft concepts
and high altitude, low speed Earth
aircraft, propellers have been the
preferred choice. Our choices for
powering an electric motor are: batteries,
fuel cells and solar cells (see discussion
on solar cells in the Electrical section.)
As a result of the lower speed of sound on
Mars, due to low temperatures, and
density about one-hundredth that of
Earths, our effort focuses on generating
the necessary amount of thrust, as well as
keeping the tip speed of the propeller
below supersonic conditions. If the tip
Mach number reaches 0.85, there will be
a large drop in the propeller efficiency
due to the flow separation and formation
of shockwaves.

thrust must balance the drag in order to


keep the UAV at a constant cruising
speed.

C D C DP C DI C DC

0)

Equation ( 0 ) calculates the total


drag on the aircraft, where CDp is the
parasite drag coefficient (also known as
skin friction drag coefficient,) CDi is the
induced drag coefficient and CDc is the
drag due to compressibility.
CDc
becomes significant when the craft
approaches sonic condition. However,
because the UAV will operates at subsonic
speed, CDc is be neglected.

C DP ,wing

C f k swet
4

(0)

The parasite drag, coefficient from


the wing is solved in equation ( 0 ), where
Cf and k are roughness constants based
on the wing Reynolds number and Swet is
the total wetted area for the wing.
Similarly, we are able to determine the
parasite drag coefficient for the tail and
the fuselage. Assuming that the wing,
fuselage and tail contribute to 95% of the
total skin friction drag, the overall
parasite drag coefficient is determined to
be 0.02225.
2

C DI

CL
0.016
Ae

(0)

Using equation ( 0 ) we solve for


the induced drag coefficient, where CL is
the wing lift coefficient, A the wing aspect
ratio, and e the Oswalt efficiency factor.
Combining the parasite and induced drag
coefficients
gives
an
overall
drag
coefficient of 0.0394.
Thus we can determine total drag
force experienced by the aircraft, from
equation ( 0 ), to be 3.14 N.

Propeller Placement
Examining the advantages and
disadvantages of propeller placement
along the fuselage places the propeller at
the rear of the fuselage.
The main
advantage in using a pusher is in the
aircrafts capability to fly in undisturbed
air. With a tractor propeller, the aircraft
flies in the turbulence from the propeller
wake, which could lead to additional drag.

V 2 S 3.14 N
2

D CD

(0)

Motor Power Specification


With the thrust required for level
flight known, we specify the amount of
power the motor needs to produce in
order for the propeller to generate that

Drag Calculations
The UAV will be operating at
steady, level flight, where all the forces
will be in equilibrium, meaning that

much thrust.

TVo prop Pengine

investigated
as
ways
to
improve
propulsion,
the
aforementioned
roll
moment is beyond our current level of
expertise.

(
0)

We
determine
the
engine
brake
horsepower, Pengine, where T is the thrust
required to maintain level flight, V is the
flight velocity and is the efficiency of the
propeller. Since the UAV will be cruising
at V(L/Dmax) the flight velocity is 130 m/s
(see aerodynamic section for more
details.) For a propeller efficiency of 95%,
The engine will produce a power of 430 W
or 0.58 HP.
Although calm flight conditions are
assumed, it is highly likely that there will
be significant wind gust that will increase
the drag value. Taking this factor into
account, we impose a safety factor of 1.2.
The propeller must therefore be capable
of generating 3.77 N of thrust if
necessary to maintain leveled flight; this
corresponds to a maximum engine power
of 490 W or 0.675 HP.

D prop 0.54 Pengine 2.27 m

(0)

Propeller Efficiency
As noted earlier, in the section it is
essential that we keep the tip speed of the
propeller under M = 0.85 or 195 m/s.
The helical speed, the tip velocity on a
moving aircraft, is the sum of the rotating
speed at the tip of the propeller and the
freestream
velocity,
calculated
in
Equation ( 0 )

Vtip V freestream

tip helical

Vtip nD

(0)
(0)

The stationary tip velocity is


calculated in Equation ( 0 ),where n is the
rotation speed in revolutions per second
and D is the diameter of the propeller.
With a helical tip speed of 195 m/s, we
obtain propeller rotation speed of 20
revolutions per second, or 1200RPM.
The overall propeller efficiency is
expressed in terms of the advance ratio
v/nD, thrust coefficient CT, and power
coefficient CP in equation ( 0 )), where CT
and CP are defined in equations ( 0 ) and
( 0 ). The resulting propeller efficiency of
approximately 93% is very close to the
95% value we assumed initially in
calculating power.

Propeller Diameter
Using Equation ( 0 ), we determine
the diameter of the propeller from the
brake horsepower of the engine. Note,
this diameter is equivalent to the length
of our wing span; as the propeller rotates
an induced roll moment is generated. We
further explore the possibility of using
counter-rotating blades. Counter-rotating
blades have mainly two advantages: they
are more efficient at high Mach numbers
than a single propeller configuration and
they allow a smaller diameter blade,
allowing them to spin at higher RPM
without a loss in aerodynamic efficiency.
By having counter-rotating blades, our
propeller diameter will be decreased
considerably while maintaining the same
efficiency. However, the extra blades will
increase the weight compared to the use
of a single propeller. In addition, the use
of propfans, which feature 8 to 10 wide,
short blades of sweptback planform are
considered for blade configurations. If a
propfan blade configuration can be
utilized, being powered by an electric
engine,
opposed
to
the
standard
turboprop engine, it would be an option
worth considering.
Although counterrotating blades and propfans were

CT
CP

10

v CT
n * D CP

T
0.0188
n 2 D 4
P
0.056
n 3 D 5

(0)

(0)
(0)

Propeller Pitch
The pitch is the theoretical
distance the propeller will advance along
the axis of rotation in one complete
revolution.
There are two types of
propellers: fixed pitch and variable
(controllable) pitch.
In a fixed-pitch propeller, the pitch
is set by the manufacturer and cannot be
changed by the pilot. There are two types
of fixed pitch propellers: the climb
propeller and the cruise propeller. The
climb propeller has a lower pitch, which
therefore leads to less drag. This results
in the capability of higher RPM and more
horsepower being developed by the
engine; such will increase performance
during takeoffs and climbs but decrease
performance during cruising flight. On
the other hand, the cruise propeller has a
higher pitch and therefore more drag
which results in lower RPM and less
horsepower capability.
Performance
during takeoff and climb is therefore
decreased; yet, efficiency during cruising
flight is increased.
Contrary to the fixed pitch, a
variable pitch propeller permits the pilot
to select a pitch that will result in the
most
efficient
performance
for
a
particular flight condition. Since we are
solely
dealing
with
cruise
flight
conditions, we select the fixed pitch
cruise propeller for its simplicity and
performance.

Figure 1: Propeller Blade Illustration


The optimum airfoil thickness will
be around 15 to 18 percent near the root,
progressively thinning to 10 percent at
the tip.
Propeller blades are in fact wings
themselves,
producing
a
resultant
aerodynamic force that may be resolved
into a force pointing along the axis of the
airplane. Thus, similar to the airfoil for
our wings, the blades should have a high
aspect ratio in order to minimize drag. An
elliptical-based shape blade with a
rounded
tip
would
yield
optimal
performance.
As the propeller spins, each
section of the blade will be traveling at
different speeds. A small twist in the
propeller blade must be incorporated to
ensure that each section advances
forward at the same rate which stops the
propeller from bending.
Designing propeller blades takes a
great amount of expertise and years of
experience. Since it is beyond our level of
expertise, we will not determine the exact
pitch, shape, twist, and airfoils for the
propeller.
Propulsion Summary
As previously mentioned, the
power consumed by the propulsion
system will be 430 W/hr. The 4.2 kg of
battery that is carried onboard will
generate a total of 1050 W, which allows
the UAV to stay aloft for approximately
2.3 hours. At a cruising speed of 130 m/s,
this corresponds to a range of 1076 km.

Propeller Blade Design


In propeller design, deciding the
number of blades to incorporate is
essential.
An
optimization
among
efficiency, thrust and weight shows that a
three-bladed propeller is preferred. Not
only is it capable of producing more
thrust than would a two-bladed propeller,
it is also lighter and more efficient than
using a four-blade propeller.
The tip section of the propeller
revolves faster than the root section;
therefore, the Reynolds number along the
propeller changes as the radius increases.
As a result, one would have to select a
different airfoil for each section of the
propeller blade.

Structural Design
Introduction
In structural aspects, the objective
is to design and verify the safety, stability,
and reliability of the unmanned aerial
vehicle. Both the wing and fuselage will
be hollow in order to minimize weight and

11

house instrumentation needed for the


mission. The structure must also be able
to withstand outside forces as well as its
own weight.

In choosing the wing material, the


following parameters are of importance:

Low
density,
ranging
from
approximately 1300 kg/m3 to 1700
kg/m3

High fracture toughness (FT)


approximately 1.0 x 105 Pa-m1/2

High tensile strength that is


capable of:
a) Supporting instrumentation
weight
b) Resisting forces of lift, 44.0
N
c) Resisting forces of drag,
3.20 N
d) Resisting forces of gravity
Usage temperature between -80oC
and 40oC
Easily
molded,
shaped,
and
machined

Structural Design/Fabrication
Two procedures are considered in
designing the structural body of the
unmanned aerial vehicle.
The first
process consists of making a skeleton
with trusses and placing coatings of outer
layers on top of this system to form the
external shell. The second option is to
make a mold out of Styrofoam or a similar
solid foam material in the exact shape of
the aircraft and then coating the outer
layers of skin on top of the mold. After
the layers are set, the inner mold is
removed and only the thin shell remains,
but shaped in the form of the aircraft.
The option implemented in this
project is the latter process of coating a
mold. This is primarily due to weight
considerations. Although trusses increase
the weight of the aircraft, a few trusses
will be used for support. The trusses will
serve solely for structural purposes, and
not to form the shape as do the trusses in
the first process.
The coating of the aircraft will
consist of three layers: a base layer, a
middle body layer, and a surface finish.
The materials chosen for the first two
layers must have a low density to optimize
weight, but must also be structurally
sound. In addition, the materials must be
capable of withstanding the extreme
temperatures in the Martian environment,
which reach on average -63C on the
surface.
The material picked for the
bottom layer is 0.1mm aluminum. The
body layer will be 0.5mm carbon fiber,
and the outer layer will be polished
aluminum.

Given these material parameters, we


identify carbon fiber to be optimal; its
material characteristics are shown in
Table 1:
Property
Value
Density (kg/m3)
1500
Fracture
Toughness 5.7
(Pa-m1/2)
Tensile Strength (MPa) 13.9
Youngs Modulus (GPa) 71
Hardness-Vickers (HV) 42
Temperature, min (C)
Temperature, max (C)

-273
2002

Table 1: Carbon Fiber Properties


Wing: Stress Analysis
It is crucial that the structure of
the UAV be strong enough to withstand
aerodynamic forces while in flight. We
therefore perform stress analysis on the
wing to verify its capability of flying in
Mars. The overall wing dimensions are
known based on calculations from
aerodynamics; the thickness of the hollow
wing is dependent upon the yielding of
carbon fiber. The wing is approximated
as a cantilever beam with its airfoil
modeled as a rectangular cross-section,
as seen in Figure 2.

Wing

Several approximations are made


in designing the wing of the aircraft.
First, the wing is treated as a cantilever
beam and second, as being hollow. The
following sections will explain further
analyses on the wing.
Wing: Material Considerations

12

approximately 20MPa, we confirm that


the aluminum will not yield. Results are
depicted on table 7.
Wing: Buckling
After determining that the wing
will not yield, it is important to confirm
that the wing will not buckle.
Pcr, critical load, is found at the tip
of the wing, where buckling is most likely.
The load that the UAV will experience due
to lift and gravitational force of each
material is approximately 26 N, well
under the critical load of 1613 kN. Thus,
the wing will not buckle.

Figure 2: Wing Model


The thickness at the center of
gravity, y, is also highly approximated

Pcr

2 EI
1.613e6 N
L2

(0)

the front face of the wing is modeled as a


2-dimensional trapezoidal figure. From
our trapezoidal face, we can find a linear
relationship of thickness, y, to position
along the length of wing, x.

y@root y@tip

l total wing

x y@root 0.0116 x ( 00.)0185

Upon determining the horizontal


component of the center of gravity, we
can find the thickness at this point, y.
Values can be found in table 7.
Varying
wing
thickness
corresponds to varying values of mass
and
therefore,
varying
values
of
gravitational force. Because the aircraft
is lightweight, the force of gravity is
nearly negligible. This force of gravity
and 44 N force due to lift provide the
moment used to determine bending
stress. The moment of inertia for the
approximated rectangular cross-section is
determined at the center of gravity.

Fuselage
Once we have established the dimensions
of the wing, we must now consider the
design of the fuselage. The shape of the
fuselage will be one similar to sailplane
design, for weight minimization and
aerodynamic purposes.
Carbon
Fiber

Aluminum

Density(kg/m )
Center of Gravity
(m)
Thickness (m)
Base
(root/tip)
(m)
Height (root/tip)
(m)
Length (m)
Y (m)

1500

2700

0.4342

0.4342

I (m4)
Total
(m3)

1.781e -6

1.781e-6

2.469e-4

2.469e-4

( 03 )
1
Force, weight (N)
I I outer I inner
bh 3 b 2t h 2t
Force, lift
12
Table 2: COG thickness and Aluminum Stress Analysis

Mass (kg)

0.3704
1.370
22.0

0.6667
2.467
22.0

For a wing of 0.5mm thickness, we


can calculate the bending stress.

Moment (Nm)
Stress (Pa)

8.957
8.347e5

8.481
7.903e5

My
0.8347 MPa
I

Material
3

Volume

0.0005
0.42
2
0.03
7
1.039
0.0135

0.15
2
0.01
29

0.0001
0.42
0.152
2
0.03
0.0129
7
1.039
0.0135

Fuselage Interior
In order to accommodate the
various instruments required in this
mission, the interior of the fuselage will
consist of three floors. These floors will
be
made
of
honeycomb
sandwich
structure (Figure 3).
Among the
advantages of using honeycomb are
lightweight, high crush strength and
stiffness, structural integrity and high
fatigue resistance.

(0)

Thus, since the yield stress of


carbon fiber is known to be 300MPa, we
can conclude that a wing of 0.5mm
thickness will not yield.
Performing similar calculations for
the inner aluminum core layer, we
calculate a bending stress of 0.7903MPa.
In comparison to its yield strength of

13

the fairly high velocity that we will be


flying at, heat losses due to conduction
and convection would be significant.
Therefore, we want to incorporate a highabsorptance and low-emitting metallic
surface. This would allow the UAV to trap
as much heat from radiation as possible
while emitting relatively a little amount.
The
optimal
fuselage
equilibrium
temperature would be obtained by
varying values of and through the
following heat balance equation:

Figure 3: Honeycomb Structure


The honeycomb structure material
will be made of aluminum, due to its
smooth and thin cell walls, in addition to
the high strength-to-weight and stiffnessto-weight ratio.
Particular instruments must be
laid out in specific locations within the
fuselage; for example, the LIDAR will be
placed on the base floor. For the LIDAR
to serve its purpose, this part of the
fuselage base will have glass material as a
window. The shaft and motor will be
further back, towards the tail end of the
fuselage; the batteries would therefore be
on the top and mid floor.

As / cTeq Qconduction Qconvection


4

AsJ s APJ a APF12 J P Qint ernal

( 0)

The left hand side of the equation


consists of the heat that is escaping the
system. The term As/cTeq4 is the heat
loss due to radiation.
Qconduction and
Qconvection are heat losses due to conduction
and convection, respectively. A s/c is the
total surface area of the UAV. is the
Stefan-Boltzman
constant
(5.67x10-8
2 4
W/m K ).
The right hand side of the
equation is the sum of the heat being
absorbed by the system. The term AsJs is
the heat addition from solar flux of the
sun. ApJa is the heat addition due to
planetary albedo.
ApF12Jp is the heat
addition from planetary radiation. Finally
Qinternal is the internal heat generated by
the various instruments. {As and Ap are
the projected areas of the UAV in the
directions of the sun and the planet
respectively.
Js is the solar radiation
intensity on Mars (590 W/m2). Ja is the
albedo contribution to the total radiation
input to the UAV, which is defined as the
product of Js, a (average Mars albedo,
0.15), and visibility factor F, which is
dependent on the altitude of flight and the
bearing angle.}
We can model heat loss due to
conduction
as
a
1
-dimensional
conduction problem.

Fuselage: Thermal Design


(Note: all the equipments will be
placed inside the fuselage; therefore we
are solely concerned about designing a
thermal control system for the fuselage
only)
The main purpose of having a
thermal control system is to maintain
batteries and instruments at their optimal
operating temperature. There are two
basic approaches to the design of a
spacecrafts thermal control system
passive and active.
Passive control
operates by using appropriate materials
and surface finishes so that the fuselage
temperature remains within acceptable
range of temperatures. The latter uses
mechanical or thermoelectric devices.
For instance, the UAV would consist
essentially of a central thermal transfer
bus, a fluid loop transporting the heat
from the radiator to the individual
components.
We choose a passive
thermal control system because it is more
reliable and easier to design than an
active one.
The ideal operating temperature
range
for
our
instruments
is
approximately 270-290 K. Due to the
extremely low temperature on Mars and

Figure 4: Model of heat loss as conduction

14

The total heat transfer


via
conduction can be expressed in equation (
0).
qx

Tatm Teq
1
L1
L2
[( ) (
)(
)]
hA
KalA
KcfA

Now that all the terms in equation


( 0) are in terms of and Teq and Teq, we
can select metallic surface finishes with
reasonably and low values that would
give us comfortable temperature for the
instruments to be operating at.
The
following is the list of the materials that
we
considered
along
with
their
properties:

(0)

where Tatm is the average ambient


temperature (230 K) at our cruise
altitude, h is the convective heat transfer
coefficient, A is the surface area of entire
fuselage, L1 is the thickness of the
aluminum (0.1mm), L2 is the thickness of
the layer of carbon fiber (0.5mm), and K
is the thermal conductivity of aluminum
and carbon fiber respectively.
After
plugging in values for all the variables,
the equation is reduced down to 1.4(230Teq).
Next, we model heat losses due to
convection by the fuselage as fluid
flowing pass a flat plate. The total heat
transfer via convection is defined in
equation ( 0).

Q hATatm Teq

MATERIAL
Polished Aluminum
Surface
Polished Stainless
Steel
Polished Copper
Grafoil
Vapor-blasted
Stainless Steel
Gold/Kapton/Aluminu
m
Gold-plate on
Aluminum

Nu L 0.664 Re

Pr

1/ 3

Nu L K
L

Equilibrium
a/e Temperatur
e (K)

0.35 0.004 8.75

265

0.50 0.130 3.85

n/a

0.28 0.130 2.20

n/a

0.66 0.340 1.90

n/a

0.60 0.330 1.80

n/a

0.53 0.420 1.260

n/a

0.30 0.040 7.50

261

The temperatures of Steel, Copper,


Grafoil, and Gold/Kapton/Aluminum of
Table 3 are found to be well under 265K
and therefore not applicable. Thus, based
on the values and given equilibrium
temperatures, in Table 3, our chosen
external thermal layer will be one of
polished Aluminum surface.
Fuselage: Material Selection
The fuselage itself is modeled as a
pressure vessel. The entire structure is
assumed to be sealed off when it is built;
therefore, it would contain Earths
atmospheric
pressure
(100
kPa).
However, the ambient pressure on Mars is
so low (700 Pa) that there would be
significant pressure drop between the
pressure inside the fuselage respect to
the atmospheric pressure. Because air in
a high pressure region tends to move to
that of a lower region, there would be a
tremendous force expanding outwards.
The function of a pressure vessel is to
essentially contain pressure P. The main
objective is to do so while minimizing
weight. A constraint involving this would
be that the pressure vessel must leak
before it breaks. This ensures that if a

(0)

The
Reynolds
number
is
approximated to be 280,000. The Prandtl
number is somewhere around 0.76. As
expressed in equation ( 0), h is simply a
function
of
the
Nusselt
number,
conduction coefficient k of the ambient,
and L the length of the flat plate.
h

Table 3: Metallic Surface Materials Property Table

(0)

Equation ( 0) expresses h as the


convective heat transfer coefficient, A as
the surface area of the fuselage, T atm, Teq
as the atmospheric and equilibrium
fuselage temperature, respectively.
In
order to obtain the convective heat
transfer coefficient h, we use the Nusselt
correlation of equation ( 0) for flow over a
flat plate.
1/ 2

(0)

15

crack exists, the leak would release


pressure gradually and thus safely.
Based on these objectives and
constraints, it is essential that we
determine
the
appropriate
material
indices, which would help us assess the
optimal materials. We can idealize the
pressure vessel as a thin-walled cylinder
with an average radius R and thickness t.
The wall thickness is chosen so that at a
certain pressure difference, the stress is
less than the yield strength of y of the
material. The stress should also be less
than the fracture stress, at which point a
crack would propagate in the vessel. It is
however, notable that there would be no
worry of crack propagation if the stress is
kept under the yield stressthis ensures
stable deformation. Such is expressed in
equations
( 0 ) - ( 0 ).

K
ac C 1C
y

Because our vessel is in fact an


aircraft, weight is crucial. For minimizing
weight, we must further find a material in
which the material index M4 is maximized.

M1

K1C
y

(0)

Once the four material indices


have been found, a material selection
chart is referred to. Figure 5 is one of
fracture toughness (K1c) versus elastic
limit (y). The diagonal line corresponds
to M2, expressing the constraint that the
vessel must leak before it breaks.

(0)

Maximizing the material index, M 1,


will maximize tolerable crack size.

M1

K1C
y

(0)

Figure 5: Fracture Toughness vs.


Elastic Limit

Leaks in the pressure vessel


caused by a crack can be detected if the
crack is just the size to penetrate the
inner and outer surface while maintaining
vessel stability. We must note that the
wall thickness is such that it will not
yield. Thus, a maximum value of the
material
index
M2
indicates
safe
containment of maximum pressure.

M4

M4 is expressed in Figure 6
strong, light materials lie near the top of
the figure.

(0)

While maximizing M1 and M2, we


keep in mind that minimizing wall
thickness is an important objective. Since
small values of wall thickness indicate
high numbers of yield stress, we try to
maximize yield stress for our material.
Thus, another material selection criterion
would be to maximize index M3.
M3 y

Figure 6: Specific Strength Chart of


Materials
Based on these material indices,
carbon fiber is chosen for the fuselage
structure.

(0)

16

which case the mass will decrease


considerably, to around 0.43kg. Thus, the
motor must be designed to fit into a tube
with a diameter of approximately 0.09m.

Propeller Shaft
A cylindrical shaft in the tail end of
the fuselage interior will connect the
propeller and the motor. Conventionally,
the shaft is 1/20 of the fuselage diameter.
We will perform calculations of torsion to
determine the minimum size that is
required of a shaft of carbon fiber.
The total torque created by the
propeller is approximately 5330 Nm; this
is calculated by the force generated by
the propeller, taking all three blades into
account. Using the Tresca yield criterion,
where max=y/2, we use equation ( 0) for
maximum shear stress to find an optimum
shaft radius.

max

Material/
Section

Surfac
e Area
(m2)

Thickne
ss (m)

Densi
ty
(kg/m
3
)

Total
Mass
(kg)

Carbon Fiber
Fuselage

0.827

0.0005

1500

0.6203

Wing

1.200

variable

1500

0.6000

Tail

0.125

0.0005

1500

0.0938

Shaft

n/a

n/a

1500

0.4300

Propeller

n/a

n/a

1500

0.6000

Aluminum

c3
2

(0)

Fuselage

0.827

0.0001

2700

0.2233

Wing

1.200

variable

2700

0.3600

Tail

0.125

0.0001

2700

0.0338

Polished Aluminum

With a safety factor of 2, we result


in a shaft diameter of approximately
0.0712m. Performing weight calculations
based on density, we find that using the
given diameter, the shaft will weigh 6kg
this exceeds our initial weight constraint.
We further continue our shaft analysis by
making the shaft hollow.

Fuselage

0.827

0.0001

n/a

Wing

1.200

0.0001

n/a

Tail

0.125

0.0001

n/a

Negligi
ble
Negligi
ble
Negligi
ble

0.0007

2500

0.0151

Glass Fiber (18%)


Fuselage

0.009

Honeycomb floor

0.1000
TOTA
L

2.9761

C2
C1

Overall Structure Weight


Keeping the structure stable and
lightweight is crucial for the UAV. Overall
structural weight is based on the surface
area and material thicknesses. The UAV
can be divided into three sections, being
the tail, wing, and fuselage.
Each of
these three sections will have three layers
of materialthe external thermal layer
and inner aluminum core layer each being
0.1mm thick, and the structural carbon
fiber layer being 0.5mm thick. Because
the polished aluminum is merely a surface
finish, the total mass is considered
negligible. Weight is therefore calculated
as the product of the surface area, the
thickness, and the density of the material.
A small area of glass fiber, to
accommodate the LIDAR instrument at
the base of the fuselage, is noted.
Including the shaft and propeller as part

Figure 7: Shaft Diagram


The equation for maximum shear stress is
now illustrated in equations ( 0)-( 0).

max
J

Tc 2
J

4
4
c2 c1
2

(0)

(0)

Performing
calculations,
we
achieve a shaft radius of approximately
0.03m. For a safety factor of 2, this will
increase to approximately 0.0815m. The
mass is still too large, at around 1.73 kg.
It is therefore necessary to decrease the
length of the shaft to around 0.25m, in

17

of the structure, the UAV will have a


structure of 2.97kg. Note Table 4 for
specific weights.

3.

Table 4: Specific Weights of Chosen


Materials
Structures Conclusion
For our given structure, bending
moment and buckling analysis is done on
the wing, in addition to pressure vessel
analysis on the fuselage.
We can
therefore verify that our structure is both
stable and soundthe wing will not yield
nor buckle and the fuselage will not break
given our dimensions. Our total structure
weight achieved is approximately 3 kg.

Electrical and Systems Design


Introduction:
The electrical and systems subteam concentrates on mapping the
topography
of Mars given
weight
parameters set by the structural subteam.
An electrical system needs to
power and control the plane, as well as
gather topographical data and flight
information. Listing flight-critical sensors
and data-gathering equipment is the first
step in the design process. We compile a
chart of mass and power consumption
based on initial trade studies, then
consider instrument networks to provide
data storage and distribution capabilities.
Once a general idea of equipment and
power supply forms, we reduce mass in
light of flight time optimization by using
lighter and more energy efficient sensors
along with more advanced energy
sources.
The
overall
mass
for
the
instruments is 7.80 kg with an energy
consumption of 459 watt-hours.

4.

Manufacturer &
Functio Power
Product Name
n
Aeroflex RadHard
MCU
0.48 W
UT80CRH196KDS
Aeroflex ACT5108
Motor
0.2 W
RadHard Motor Driver
Cognex MVS-8100D
Video
3W
Digital Frame Grabber
DSP Arch. DSP24 24-bit
Comm
2.48 W
HP Digital Signal
Processor
Aeroflex UT28F256 LV
Memory
1.5 W
PROM
SEAKR NV-CPCI NonMemory
3W
Volatile, Solid-State
FLASH
transit and on Mars.
5. All wiring will be shielded to
prevent
electromagnetic
interference
and
to
reduce
transmission losses.
6. The mean-time-to-failure (MTF) of
all instruments is much greater
than the expected duration of the
mission, which includes transit
time and time spent on Mars.
Constraints:
The following constraints are
imposed on the design of the UAV based
on current technologies and design
methodologies:

Assumptions:
The following assumptions are
made in the design of the UAV electrical
systems:
1.
2.

There will be a network of Marsorbiting satellites as outlined by


NASA. This will enable direct lineof-sight communication with the
UAV at all times.
All instruments are customizable
for
the
UAV
and
Martian
environment. Electronics will be
radiation-hardened
to
ensure
adequate
performance
during

The operating temperature inside


the UAV is greater than 0C.
There are no directional magnetic
fields present to adversely affect
navigation.

18

1.

2.

3.

The total mass of all instruments


must be less than 8 kg to
accommodate the aerodynamic
and structural constraints listed
earlier.
The
data
rate
used
for
communications is limited to 480
MB/hr based on a two-antenna
design and UHF frequencies.
The oxygen-deficient atmosphere
prevents the efficient use of fuelcells as a potential power source

Instrument Selection:
Error: Reference source not found
lists the UAV instruments and their
respective mass, power consumption,
operating temperatures, and physical
dimensions.
The following sections discuss the
trade-offs and specifications for each
instrument. Important sections such as
power management, communication, and
navigation are considered in more detail
followed by a high-level block diagram of
the system.
Table 5: Micro-controller
Instrumentation
Microcontroller Unit and Memory:

Table 10: Instrument Selection

19

Table 5 lists the components that


comprise the main micro-controller unit.
All circuit components are radiationhardened to at least 300 Krads during the
fabrication, design, and layout processes
to ensure they perform as expected after
a three to six month transit period and
during the two hour mission on Mars.
Electronic circuits are exposed to
approximately 1.75 Krads[Si]/year in
space when shielded with 50 mils of
aluminum, with a slightly higher number
(10 krads[Si]) during solar storms.
Therefore,
the
radiation-hardened
components are capable of withstanding
several years of exposure without sideeffects.
However,
radiation-hardening
requires larger layout footprints and more
conservative transistor designs, resulting
in slower switching speeds and larger
areas compared to commercial designs.
The trade-offs are improved durability in
harsh-environments and lower power
consumption due to lower transistor
densities - both of which are critical
factors in the UAV design.
The UT80 MCU is a 16-bit
microcontroller designed to run on 20
MHz clock and industry-standard MCS-96
RTR
architecture,
which
ensures
compatibility of out-sourced software
design. The 1 KB of internal SRAM is
insufficient for all sensor and image data;
therefore, the UT28F256 PROM and
SEAKR FLASH external memory are
added
to
augment
data-storage
capabilities. The UT28F256 external LV
PROM adds an additional 256 KB of nonvolatile memory, which is used to
primarily
store
the
temperature,
pressure, acceleration, and gyroscope
sensor data using a sample rate of once
per second. The SEAKR NV-CPCI FLASH
chip allows for 1 GB of non-volatile
Sensor Type
ADXL150/105

Quantit
y
3/3

Total Bits

memory with a maximum data rate of 27


Mbps and 3 W of power dissipation. The
FLASH chip will be primarily used to
store high-resolution images and LIDAR
data. Table 12 lists the properties and
memory bits required for each sensor and
camera type. Extra bits are required for
the Endevo pressure sensors to provide
the required 8.62 mV/psi sensitivity.
Similarly, due to the aerodynamic
precision required once in flight, at least
10-bits of resolution is needed for the
gyroscope and accelerometer data in
order to resolve the analog output.
Given the memory requirements
listed in table 12 below, the Aeroflex
UT28F256 LV PROM can store over
twelve thousand data sets given a sample
rate of once per second and 22 bytes per
set. This allows for over two hours of
storage time, which is adequate given the
current mission specifications.
The
SEAKR FLASH chip is also able to store
hundreds of images at any one time. In
order to ensure a timely and accurate
transfer of data to orbiting satellites, a
first-in-first-out (FIFO) queue structure
will be implemented in memory where old
data will be transmitted first. Software
programs, such as navigation algorithms
and communications protocol will be
stored on the internal SRAM to allow for
faster data-transfer rates to the MCU
registers.
LIDAR and Camera:
The LIDAR unit, provided by
General Atomics, includes a frequencydoubled Nd:YAG pulse laser, dual
microchannel
plate
CCD
detector,
scanning
mirror,
and
light-weight
collection lens required for numerous
high-resolution images.
The unit is
located in the nose of the UAV. In order
to provide maximum coverage of the
landscape, the scanning mirror, powered
by a low-power DC motor, provides a fast
horizontal scanning motion at several
thousand points per scan. Based on the
method developed by Lathrop et al., the
CCD detector gathers all of the reflected
laser intensity per scan. A horizontal
resolution of much better than two meters
is possible with this unit, which is a
significant improvement over the LIDAR

60 bits @ 10-bits
each
ADXRS150/300
3/3
60 bits @ 10-bits
each
Endevo 32394
2
24-bits @ 12-bits
each
Motorola
1
8-bits @ 8-bits
MPXV5004G6U
each
ADT7317
2
20 bits @ 10-bits
each
20
ThermalTab RTD
1
10-bits @ 10-bits
each
Total
18
182 bits (22
Table 6: Memory allocation bytes)
and data storage for distributed sensor package

instrumentation onboard current Marsorbiting satellites. The receiver specified


by General Atomics provides a resolution
of 320x320 pixels at 4 bits/pixel and a
total of 50 kB/scan.
The Cognex CDC-100 HiRes CCD
provides 1280x1024 resolution at 8
bits/pixel of color with no compression,
which requires a total of 1.25 MB/photo.
The CCD interfaces with the Cognex
MVS-8100D listed in Table 5.

cm wavelengths for microwaves and


hundreds of nanometer wavelengths for
lasers implies that the energies cannot be
precisely targeted from the orbit.
We attempt using fuel cells in the
third alternative.
The fuel cell is an
aspiring future technology that generates
a very high energy per mass value.
However,
all
existing
fuel
cell
technologies require the use of hydrogen
and oxygen for the generation of electric
current.
On the other hand, Mars is
dominated by CO2, nitrogen, and argon.
One solution to the paucity of hydrogen
and
oxygen
is
to
bring
along
pressurized/refrigerated
gas
tanks;
another solution is to produce oxygen via
compressing CO2 in the manner of the
Mars In-situ Propellant Production (MIP).
As for now, the weight and size of
a custom MIP device is not readily
available, nor has it made for rapid
collection of CO2 (only at night and low
temperatures of around 200 K) although
an 8.5 kg, 40cm x 24cm x 25cm device
has already been demonstrated.
A fuel cell system will require the
following components to carry the
necessary hydrogen and oxygen onboard
the UAV:

Power Management:
Initial energy source selections for
the UAV consist of (1) solar cells, (2)
alternative electromagnetic sources, (3)
fuel cells, and/or (4) batteries. The
primary requirement for these energy
sources is to provide adequate energy to
on-board instruments and motor, specified
by a minimum of 460 W for one hour.
Moreover, they must function within
Martian atmosphere; that is, they must
function
despite
various
gas
compositions, temperatures, distances
from the sun, and other factors. They
must also be optimized in light of the ratio
kilowatt-hour (energy) per kilogram.
Trade-off analysis for the various
selections shows that, first, solar cells do
not provide enough required energy for
flight alone or regeneration. This fact is
expressed by a specific area of 263 W for
1 m2 of a solar panel with a Martian
efficiency of 28%, yielding only 73 W/m2.
Note that given a wingspan of around 2 m
x 0.5 m, only 73 W can be achieved from a
full solar cell array. Additionally, since
the energy per mass value is only 32.2
W/kg after Martian considerations, the
extra mass might as well be spent on
batteries
or
fuel
cells
without
regeneration.
The second alternative suggests
implementing a land microwave or laser
electromagnetic targeting source to beam
energy towards the UAV while it is in
flight. The reason for the rejection of this
alternative is simple there is no
guarantee that any form of a land station
will be available for this purpose, while
satellites are too far away to be able to
transmit
and
pinpoint
at
these
wavelengths accurately. The 0.3 cm-30

Tanks (hydrogen, oxygen) with


insulation
Fuel
cell
pressurization
maintenance
(or
even
refrigeration) system
Fuel cell array and delivery
Control system

Sources show that 1g of hydrogen


fills 11 liters at 0C and 1 atm. In order
to reduce the volume of the tank to
reasonable levels, we can try to
pressurize the volume to around 2.2 liters
at 5 atm on a Martian surface pressure of
0.01 atm, which is a very generous
pressurization value. If the temperature
in the fuel tanks can be maintained at
around -100C, via simple insulation and
without extra refrigeration cycles, the
volume can fall to around 1.4 liters for 1
gram, or 0.7143 g/liter or 0.7143 kg/m3.
Given that we have at most 0.008
m3, or a 20cm x 20cm x 20cm, volume
available for a H2 tank, 5.7 mg of H2 is

21

required. In this case, the tank will fill up


10% of the wingspan and nearly 82% of
the maximum fuselage area. Now
consider that 1 kg of H2 gives 86 MJ of
energy, which means that multiplying 5.7
mg by 86 MJ/kg we will have 491 kJ, or
around 137 Whr, which is still less than
the best batteries (>200 Whr) at the cost
of a much larger volume.
This
result
only
takes
into
consideration the hydrogen tank.
The
oxygen tank adds to another part of the
fuselage, and is usually larger without
liquefaction. Moreover, pressurization
requires an entire system of compressors
with the addition of extra volume. The
same volume concern holds if a
refrigeration system is used.
As the
volume tradeoff shows, fuel cells without
the best pressurization are not optimal for
an aircraft of this size, even if the mass
required for the energy supply is small.
Until the Mars In-situ Propellant
Production can provide immediate oxygen
production, or until the volume can be
drastically reduced by using absorption
material or other Martian gases like
nitrogen, fuel cells for the UAV will have
to hold.

Lithium
ion
Solid
Polymer
Electrolyte (SPE) is the best contender
among these existing technologies.
It
provides the highest energy density,
around 1.5 to 2 times more than the
currently existing Lithium-ion battery
technology. The sample that we have
chosen is under development by Ultralife
since 2001, and is a feasible power source
due to its non-atmospheric requirements.
A
simple
calculation
at
an
allowance of 4.2 kg gives 1050 Whr, while
the volume of the battery is around 400
Wh/liter or 400 kWh/m3; 1050 Whr yields
0.0026 m3 of theoretical battery space, or
around 14cm x 14cm x 14cm of volume.
Compared to fuel cells, the given massvolume tradeoff is extremely reasonable
for our considerations.
Navigation:
The absence of magnetic poles
makes navigation on Mars particularly
difficult without a GPS-like system. Since
the flight of the UAV will be decided upon
in advance and, in general, will be
relatively direct across the surface of
Mars, the UAV can take advantage of its
on-board sensors such as accelerometers
and gyroscopes to detect any deviations
from its path. Such sensors should be
sufficient to ensure that the UAV stays on
course once it has begun its flight path.
However, for the UAV to begin on the
correct flight path our design requires
additional sensors.
The photovoltaic compass (PV or
sun compass), based on InGaP/GaAs/Ge
technologies, can be used in the initial
state of the planes launch to detect the
proper orientation of the plane relative to
the sun. Precise knowledge of the launch
area on Mars will make it possible to
know what the proper angle to the sun
should be and this can be checked by the
PV compass throughout the flight. The
design of the PV compass is based on 26
small rectangular Triple-Junction solar
cells that are arranged in an octagonalcylinder fashion where the inward facing
cells form the walls and bottom of the
cylinder. The top surface is covered by
anti-reflective fused Silica industrialgrade glass that has a low refraction
coefficient relative to the Martian

Batteries:
Batteries are by far the more
convenient
and
readily
available
technology compared to fuel cells, and
require no peripheral equipment at a
much more compact volume. A variety of
battery types are commercially available
and under development, as listed in Table
7 below:
Name
Lead
Acid
NiMH
Li+
NaS
Li+ SPE

kWh/k
g
0.035
0.07
0.15
0.11
0.25

Table 7: Comparison of battery


energy/mass ratios
Mass
and
Considerations:

Containment

22

atmosphere, and low coefficient of


thermal expansion. The glass part of the
PV compass will be exposed to the
Martian atmosphere at the top of the
UAVs fuselage without altering the
laminar flow over the UAV.
Incident
sunlight will enter the PV compass and
strike certain solar cells. Based on the
current produced by each cell we can
determine the angle of the incident
sunlight and thus the angle to the sun.

checking
the
gyroscopes.

and

Communication:
In
order
to
transmit
the
information gathered by the array of
sensors aboard the UAV, we have included
three UHF patch transceiver antennas in
our design. Only two of these antennas
will be operating at any one time, with the
third antenna serving as a back-up. We
estimate the power requirement of two
antennas to be 15 W with a total mass of
0.75 kg for the three antennas.
One
antenna will be one on each wing with the
third on top of the fuselage. The patch
antennas have a flat profile which can
further be reduced by placing them into
indentations in the surface structure.
These particular antennas are
compatible with existing satellite/rover
communications equipment. Rather than
attempt to transmit directly to Earth, we
assumed that the UAV would be operating
in an environment where there would be
multiple opportunities to transmit data to
Mars-orbit satellites. By avoiding direct
transmission to Earth, we save power and
thus weight aboard the UAV. Also, we
reduce the probability of corrupting the
transmitted signal.
If the UAV could
continuously transmit to a satellite, our
communications uplink capability would
be 8 MB/min per antenna. Implementing
this design with only the current satellites
orbiting Mars, the Odyssey and the Global
Surveyor, would permit one 8 minute
window during the flight to transmit all of
our data, which would have to be limited
to 64 MB.
A future satellite communications
infrastructure
around
Mars
would
increase the value of the UAVs mission
by allowing for the transmission of higher
resolution images.
Furthermore, this
network of communications satellites
could serve as the backbone of a
navigational system for this and other
missions to Mars.

Figure 8: Photovoltaic Compass


With this design, we can detect
26 of incidence across each solar cell
and can determine the angle to the sun
with high precision based off of partially
lit cells.
One shortcoming of the PV
compass, however, is the ambiguity of
direction that remains when the sun is
90 mm

215mm

37 mm

accelerometers

37 mm
37 mm

directly overhead. This problem can be


avoided ahead of time by taking this
problem into consideration when planning
the flight location and time.
Another
complication is that our measurements
are accurate only when the UAV is flying
parallel to the Martian surface.
This
means that measurements made during
ascent/descent or turbulent flight should
be discarded. Fortunately we will ensure
that the PV compass is used only when
the plane is in the proper orientation by

Software:
Software will be written in a
combination of C and Assembly based on
industry-standard
MCS-96
RTR
instruction set architecture.
External

23

events will be monitored using multi-level


state diagrams clocked at 20 MHz and

except the ACT5108, which is instead


located on a separate board near the DC

LIDAR
Software

Antenna

Txmitter

DAC

Rxver

ADC

Mechanical
Transducers

Hi-Res
Camera

ADC

Video
MEM
Card

MCU

DSP

DAC

DSP

DAC

Left Wing

DAC

Txmitter

ADC

Rxver

Mechanical
Transducers

Right Wing

ADC

Sensor
Package

Antenna

Solar
Compass

ADC

DAC

DC Motor
Controller

Tail

Controller

Batteries

DC Electric Engine
Propeller

Mechanical
Transducers

Copyright 2004, CU Odysseus Team

Figure 9: Functional Block Diagram of Electrical System


eighteen
separate
interrupt
service
routines (ISRs) such as the timer
COMPARE interrupt and UART RXC
interrupt.
A real-time microcontroller
operating system can be used to provide
near-instantaneous responses to external
events.
All software packages will
conform to current IEEE Code of Ethics
and ACM standards.

engine. The sensor package is distributed


throughout the UAVs fuselage to provide
maximum coverage. The batteries are
regulated with a separate controller chip
and a series of DC-DC converters to
maintain
the
voltage
and
provide
adequate Vcc for the various components.

Block Diagram:
Figure 9 shows the high-level
block diagram of the electrical systems.
The central microcontroller unit contains
all the components listed in Table 5

24

that interprets data from


accelerometers, gyroscopes, and a
photovoltaic
compass.
Microcontrollers and the associated
software will process sensor data to
check for deviations from flight path
and will implement the necessary
corrective flight adjustments.
For
communication between the UAV and
Mars-orbit satellites we have, for
redundantly, chosen three UHF patch
transceiver
antennas
that
can
continuously transmit data produced
by the UAV instrumentation. Finally, a
power supply consisting of multiple
lithium-ion SPE batteries will be
responsible
for
powering
the
instrumentation and propeller motor.
Lightweight batteries are chosen upon
detailed consideration of watt-hours
per kg of all potential power sources
including solar cells.
Due to the constraints of time
and expertise, our UAV design has
excluded discussion of the induced roll
due to a propeller. Furthermore, we
have not specified an exact design for
the contours of propeller itself. These
elements of aircraft design are
extremely complex and exceed the
expertise of the team. Additionally,
power supply imposes limitations on
flight duration. In the future it is
possible that potential power supplies,
which we have also explored, will
improve to a point where they are
feasible for use on an unmanned
Martian aircraft, extending its flight
duration. Despite our omissions, we
our confident that the teams UAV
design is an optimal solution with
existing technologies and will provide
a reliable platform for Martian
exploration.

Conclusion
Throughout the design process,
the Odysseus Team has striven to
maximize the versatility of its UAV
proposal. The team optimizes factors
such as mass, power, speed, and flight
duration to devise an aircraft that will
meet the demands of a Martian
scouting mission. The product of such
systematic and collaborative design
process is a 10.8 kg aircraft that can
fly unaided by a human controller for
2.3 hours at 130 m/s and a cruising
altitude of 500 meters with a
maximum flight range exceeding 1000
km. Equipped with topographical and
imaging instrumentation, such a UAV
will be able to produce the detailed
information necessary for future
manned missions to Mars.
The UAV blueprint outlined in
this paper includes a 2.1-meter long
fuselage, a 0.25-meter maximum
diameter for the fuselage, and a
2.078-meter wingspan. The design of
such
components
takes
into
consideration low atmospheric density
which causes reduced lift and drag.
The dimension of wingspan is the
result of detailed lift and airfoil
analysis. To propel the UAV in an
atmosphere that lacks the necessary
amount of oxygen for combustion we
have chosen a single 2.27-meter
diameter propeller mounted aft of an
inverted V-tail. The decision to use an
inverted V-tail is the result of a
compromise between the higher
control stability but higher drag of a
conventional tail and the lower drag
but lower control stability of a V-tail.
To control the UAV flight path we have
designed a feedback system

25

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28