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Introduction to UAV Systems, 4th Edition

ISBN: 978-1-119-97866-4
306 pages
September 2012
Introduction to UAV Systems, 4th Edition (1119978661) cover image

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been widely adopted in the military world over the last decade and the success of these military applications is increasingly driving efforts to establish unmanned aircraft in non-military roles.

Introduction to UAV Systems, 4th edition provides a comprehensive introduction to all of the elements of a complete Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). It addresses the air vehicle, mission planning and control, several types of mission payloads, data links and how they interact with mission performance, and launch and recovery concepts. This book provides enough information to encourage a student to learn more; to provide a specialist with a basic appreciation of the technical issues that drive other parts of the system and interact with their specialty; or to help a program manager understand system-level tradeoffs and know what questions to ask.  

Key features:

  • Comprehensive overview of all elements of a UAS and of how they interact.
  • Introduces the underlying concepts of key subsystems.
  • Emphasizes system-integration issues and how they relate to subsystem design choices.
  • Practical discussion of issues informed by lessons learned in UAV programs.

Introduction to UAV Systems, 4th edition is written both for newcomers to the subject and for experienced members of the UAV community who desire a comprehensive overview at the system level.

As well as being a primary text for an introductory course on UAS or a supplementary text in a course that goes into more depth in one of the individual technologies involved in a UAS, this book is a useful overview for practicing engineers, researchers, managers, and consultants interested in UAV systems.

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Preface xv

Series Preface xix

Acknowledgments xxi

List of Acronyms xxiii

Part One Introduction

1 History and Overview 3

1.1 Overview 3

1.2 History 4

1.2.1 Early History 4

1.2.2 The Vietnam War 5

1.2.3 Resurgence 5

1.2.4 Joint Operations 6

1.2.5 Desert Storm 6

1.2.6 Bosnia 6

1.2.7 Afghanistan and Iraq 7

1.3 Overview of UAV Systems 7

1.3.1 Air Vehicle 8

1.3.2 Mission Planning and Control Station 8

1.3.3 Launch and Recovery Equipment 9

1.3.4 Payloads 10

1.3.5 Data Links 10

1.3.6 Ground Support Equipment 11

1.4 The Aquila 11

1.4.1 Aquila Mission and Requirements 12

1.4.2 Air Vehicle 12

1.4.3 Ground Control Station 13

1.4.4 Launch and Recovery 13

1.4.5 Payload 13

1.4.6 Other Equipment 14

1.4.7 Summary 14

References 15

2 Classes and Missions of UAVs 17

2.1 Overview 17

2.2 Examples of UAV Systems 17

2.2.1 Very Small UAVs 18

2.2.2 Small UAVs 19

2.2.3 Medium UAVs 20

2.2.4 Large UAVs 23

2.3 Expendable UAVs 25

2.4 Classes of UAV Systems 26

2.4.1 Classification by Range and Endurance 26

2.4.2 Informal Categories of Small UAV Systems by Size 27

2.4.3 The Tier System 27

2.4.4 Another Classification Change 28

2.5 Missions 28

Reference 31

Part Two The Air Vehicle

3 Basic Aerodynamics 35

3.1 Overview 35

3.2 Basic Aerodynamic Equations 35

3.3 Aircraft Polar 39

3.4 The Real Wing and Airplane 40

3.5 Induced Drag 41

3.6 The Boundary Layer 43

3.7 Flapping Wings 46

3.8 Total Air-Vehicle Drag 48

3.9 Summary 48

References 49

Bibliography 49

4 Performance 51

4.1 Overview 51

4.2 Climbing Flight 51

4.3 Range 53

4.3.1 Range for a Propeller-Driven Aircraft 54

4.3.2 Range for a Jet-Propelled Aircraft 56

4.4 Endurance 57

4.4.1 Endurance for a Propeller-Driven Aircraft 57

4.4.2 Endurance for a Jet-Propelled Aircraft 58

4.5 Gliding Flight 59

4.6 Summary 59

5 Stability and Control 61

5.1 Overview 61

5.2 Stability 61

5.2.1 Longitudinal Stability 62

5.2.2 Lateral Stability 64

5.2.3 Dynamic Stability 65

5.2.4 Summary 65

5.3 Control 65

5.3.1 Aerodynamic Control 65

5.3.2 Pitch Control 66

5.3.3 Lateral Control 67

5.4 Autopilots 67

5.4.1 Sensor 68

5.4.2 Controller 68

5.4.3 Actuator 68

5.4.4 Airframe Control 68

5.4.5 Inner and Outer Loops 68

5.4.6 Flight-Control Classification 69

5.4.7 Overall Modes of Operation 70

5.4.8 Sensors Supporting the Autopilot 70

6 Propulsion 73

6.1 Overview 73

6.2 Thrust Generation 73

6.3 Powered Lift 75

6.4 Sources of Power 78

6.4.1 The Two-Cycle Engine 78

6.4.2 The Rotary Engine 81

6.4.3 The Gas Turbine 82

6.4.4 Electric Motors 83

6.4.5 Sources of Electrical Power 84

7 Loads and Structures 91

7.1 Overview 91

7.2 Loads 91

7.3 Dynamic Loads 94

7.4 Materials 96

7.4.1 Sandwich Construction 96

7.4.2 Skin or Reinforcing Materials 97

7.4.3 Resin Materials 97

7.4.4 Core Materials 98

7.5 Construction Techniques 98

Part Three Mission Planning and Control

8 Mission Planning and Control Station 101

8.1 Oerview 101

8.2 MPCS Architecture 105

8.2.1 Local Area Networks 107

8.2.2 Elements of a LAN 107

8.2.3 Levels of Communication 108

8.2.4 Bridges and Gateways 110

8.3 Physical Configuration 111

8.4 Planning and Navigation 113

8.4.1 Planning 113

8.4.2 Navigation and Target Location 115

8.5 MPCS Interfaces 117

9 Air Vehicle and Payload Control 119

9.1 Overview 119

9.2 Modes of Control 120

9.3 Piloting the Air Vehicle 120

9.3.1 Remote Piloting 121

9.3.2 Autopilot-Assisted Control 121

9.3.3 Complete Automation 122

9.3.4 Summary 123

9.4 Controlling Payloads 123

9.4.1 Signal Relay Payloads 124

9.4.2 Atmospheric, Radiological, and Environmental Monitoring 124

9.4.3 Imaging and Pseudo-Imaging Payloads 125

9.5 Controlling the Mission 126

9.6 Autonomy 128

Part Four Payloads

10 Reconnaissance/Surveillance Payloads 133

10.1 Overview 133

10.2 Imaging Sensors 134

10.2.1 Target Detection, Recognition, and Identification 134

10.3 The Search Process 146

10.4 Other Considerations 152

10.4.1 Stabilization of the Line of Sight 152

References 156

Bibliography 156

11 Weapon Payloads 157

11.1 Overview 157

11.2 History of Lethal Unmanned Aircraft 158

11.3 Mission Requirements for Armed Utility UAVs 161

11.4 Design Issues Related to Carriage and Delivery of Weapons 161

11.4.1 Payload Capacity 161

11.4.2 Structural Issues 162

11.4.3 Electrical Interfaces 163

11.4.4 Electromagnetic Interference 165

11.4.5 Launch Constraints for Legacy Weapons 165

11.4.6 Safe Separation 166

11.4.7 Data Links 166

11.5 Other Issues Related to Combat Operations 166

11.5.1 Signature Reduction 166

11.5.2 Autonomy 176

Reference 179

12 Other Payloads 181

12.1 Overview 181

12.2 Radar 181

12.2.1 General Radar Considerations 181

12.2.2 Synthetic Aperture Radar 183

12.3 Electronic Warfare 184

12.4 Chemical Detection 184

12.5 Nuclear Radiation Sensors 185

12.6 Meteorological Sensors 185

12.7 Pseudo-Satellites 186

Part Five Data Links

13 Data-Link Functions and Attributes 191

13.1 Overview 191

13.2 Background 191

13.3 Data-Link Functions 193

13.4 Desirable Data-Link Attributes 194

13.4.1 Worldwide Availability 195

13.4.2 Resistance to Unintentional Interference 196

13.4.3 Low Probability of Intercept (LPI) 196

13.4.4 Security 197

13.4.5 Resistance to Deception 197

13.4.6 Anti-ARM 197

13.4.7 Anti-Jam 198

13.4.8 Digital Data Links 199

13.5 System Interface Issues 199

13.5.1 Mechanical and Electrical 199

13.5.2 Data-Rate Restrictions 200

13.5.3 Control-Loop Delays 201

13.5.4 Interoperability, Interchangeability, and Commonality 202

Reference 204

14 Data-Link Margin 205

14.1 Overview 205

14.2 Sources of Data-Link Margin 205

14.2.1 Transmitter Power 206

14.2.2 Antenna Gain 206

14.2.3 Processing Gain 213

14.3 Definition of AJ Margin 217

14.3.1 Jammer Geometry 218

14.3.2 System Implications of AJ Capability 222

14.3.3 Anti-Jam Uplinks 224

14.4 Propagation 225

14.4.1 Obstruction of the Propagation Path 225

14.4.2 Atmospheric Absorption 226

14.4.3 Precipitation Losses 227

14.5 Data-Link Signal-to-Noise Budget 227

References 229

15 Data-Rate Reduction 231

15.1 Overview 231

15.2 Compression Versus Truncation 231

15.3 Video Data 232

15.4 Non-Video Data 239

15.5 Location of the Data-Rate Reduction Function 240

References 241

16 Data-Link Tradeoffs 243

16.1 Overview 243

16.2 Basic Tradeoffs 243

16.3 Pitfalls of “Putting Off” Data-Link Issues 245

16.4 Future Technology 246

Part Six Launch and Recovery

17 Launch Systems 249

17.1 Overview 249

17.2 Basic Considerations 249

17.3 UAV Launch Methods for Fixed-Wing Vehicles 253

17.3.1 Rail Launchers 254

17.3.2 Pneumatic Launchers 255

17.3.3 Hydraulic/Pneumatic Launchers 256

17.3.4 Zero Length RATO Launch of UAVs 257

17.4 Vertical Takeoff and Landing UAV Launch 260

18 Recovery Systems 261

18.1 Overview 261

18.2 Conventional Landings 261

18.3 Vertical Net Systems 262

18.4 Parachute Recovery 263

18.5 VTOL UAVs 265

18.6 Mid-Air Retrieval 267

18.7 Shipboard Recovery 269

19 Launch and Recovery Tradeoffs 271

19.1 UAV Launch Method Tradeoffs 271

19.2 Recovery Method Tradeoffs 274

19.3 Overall Conclusions 276

Index 277

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“Useful for students who need the necessary background for working on projects in this field. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and graduate aeronautical and electrical engineering students; professionals.”  (Choice, 1 July 2013)

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