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Preliminary Concepts for Deployable Wings on Small UAVs Using Compliance

[+] Author Affiliations
Steven D. Landon, Spencer P. Magleby, Larry L. Howell

Brigham Young University

Paper No. IMECE2005-82088, pp. 353-363; 11 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Aerospace
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4210-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Advances in technology for Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) have given rise to increasingly smaller UAVs and a growing need for adaptable UAV wing structures. Deployable, or collapsible, wings offer space savings and broaden the number of possible applications for UAVs. Aerial surveillance applications, such as military reconnaissance, law enforcement, forestry, map making, pipeline surveillance, and border patrol typically demand a UAV that can be carried and deployed by a single user in an isolated field. This paper provides a framework of deployable wing concepts using compliant mechanisms. Compliant mechanisms offer reduced part count, decreased need for lubrication, efficient manufacturability, and space savings compared to traditional joint systems. The design space for compliant deployable wings is explored, concepts are categorized into classes based on motion type, and opportunities are identified for creating new concepts. A method is presented for selecting and evaluating concepts for specific applications. A product development project illustrates selection of a deployable wing design for a particular application, and the paper concludes with suggestions for further work.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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