Two PhD students in National University of Singapore, Unmanned System Research Group spent four years in developing the novel hybrid unmanned aerial vehicles(UAV), U-Lion as shown in Figure 1. U-Lion is a hybrid UAV which can take-off and land vertically like helicopter UAVs, and transit to cruise flight like normal airplanes.
The wings can be fully retracted or expended, to favor the stability in VTOL mode or provide efficient lift in cruise flight. U-Lion is also able to fly autonomously includes vertical take-off and landing, cruise flight and autonomous transitions. The developed technology brings the application of hybrid UAVs one step closer.
Their research result has been published in Science China Information Sciences, Volume 60, Issue 3, 2017. The research work is mainly done by Wang Kangli, Ke Yijie under the supervision of Professor Chen.
Over the last decades, hybrid UAV has attracted worldwide interest for their potential applications in military and civilian operations, especially where there are severe constraints in their operating environment, for example, sea surveillance or forest mapping.
The VTOL capability minimizes the dependency of the take-off and landing facilities and cruise flying capability allows hybrid UAVs to perform long range and duration tasks. The hybrid UAV is a hot research topic not only academically, but also commercially. Many companies have devoted resources in developing hybrid UAVs, such as Google Project Wing.
However, due to the great difference in the structure for VTOL UAVs and fixed-wing UAVs, it is a huge challenge to combine the two functionalities into one single UAV. Previous attempts of hybrid UAVs tend to focus on either one of the flying modes, but not optimal on both. Besides, due to the high uncertain aerodynamic forces in the transition process, the transition process is difficult to automate.
To achieve optimal performance in both flying modes, U-Lion is designed in tail-sitter configurations with reconfigurable wings and vectoring thrust. U-Lion could adopt different flying modes based on the mission requirements, and adjust the wings to achieve optimal performance.
The ability allows U-Lion to fly much longer than typical VTOL UAVs and possess greater maneuverability compared to normal fixed wing UAVs. Advanced modelling and control algorithm is also developed for overcoming the uncertainties in transition and achieve autonomous full envelope flight.
"U-Lion, the autonomous hybrid UAV, has great potentials in many applications." Said Kangli, "The VTOL capability has widened its application environment and cruise capability enables it to performance long range tasks. The autonomous capability relieves the dependency of experience pilots and further expands its applications."
"Being optimal in both flying modes, U-Lion may bring a new way people operates drones. The fast reaction and static hovering capabilities bring U-Lion great potential in many applications, the VTOL capability allows it to operate in almost anywhere, including on vehicles on the sea." Said Ke Yijie, "In five to ten years' time, hybrid UAV will change the way people operate in areas like forest mapping, sea surveillance, power line inspection and disaster reaction. Being one of the best hybrid UAV, U-Lion will certainly lead the trend for future applications!"
See the article: Wang K L, Ke Y J, Chen B M. Autonomous reconfigurable hybrid tail-sitter UAV U-Lion. Sci China Inf Sci, 2017, 60(3): 033201, doi: 10.1007/s11432-016-9002-x
Wang Kangli | EurekAlert!
NASA CubeSat to test miniaturized weather satellite technology
10.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
New approach uses light instead of robots to assemble electronic components
08.11.2017 | The Optical Society
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses