International Journal of

Unmanned Systems Engineering

ISSN: 2052-112X

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© Marques Engineering Ltd

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Abstract: Penev V, Rowlands G and Georgiev G. (2016). Low-cost robust high-performance remotely piloted autonomous fixed-wing system. International Journal of Unmanned Systems Engineering. 4(1): 23-36. This paper presents the development of a low cost miniature fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The project aimed at developing an aerial platform that could fulfil the needs of operators and clients. The UAV offers compact packaging, long endurance relative to size, stabilized gimbal for multiple sensors, fully functional autopilot, great weather handling capability and low unit cost. This article considers some of the methods used to enhance a marketable fixed-wing platform that meets the requirements of low price, reliability and high quality. Taking advantage of the recent Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), the global cost of UAVs has been reduced. However, this reduction in size, power and price of the sensors comes at the expense of accuracy degradation making it more difficult to estimate the attitude of highly dynamic UAVs. Developing an efficient low-cost aerial system is then imperative where the integration of the modified airframe, autopilot, Inertial Navigation System (INS) and accurate Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS) can provide a more reliable system. As with any system each element is important individually but also as a contributing factor to the system. Consideration was given to either an existing airframe that was suitable or one that could be adapted to our needs and desired parameters. Currently, bespoke fixed-wing slow-moving, long endurance aircraft are employed for aerial surveillance. Similar characteristics were desirable and achieved in this platform by repurposing an existing body and wing pairing. Enhancements include “Highly Mechanised Wing and Winglets” and “Wide Bodied Airframe” using readily available materials and 3D printed parts designed to increase capabilities and durability. This approach allowed unit costs to stay very low without reducing functionality. © Marques Engineering Ltd.


Keywords: Highly mechanised wing and winglets, MEMS, Robust UAV, Wide-bodied Airframe,

3D printing.

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IJUSEng - 2016, Vol. 4, No. 1, 23-36


Low-Cost Robust High-Performance Remotely Piloted Autonomous Fixed-Wing System


Valentin Penev, Gary Rowlands and George Georgiev

Institute of System Engineering and Robotics

Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

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