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Environmentally Conscious Wing Design for the Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

[+] Author Affiliations
Liaquat U. Iqbal, Gautam S. Naik, Daniel Pothala, Phani Kiran Surapaneni, Fu Zhao, John P. Sullivan

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Paper No. MSEC2009-84292, pp. 135-144; 10 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference
  • ASME 2009 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, Volume 1
  • West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, October 4–7, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Manufacturing Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4361-1 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3859-4
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has become widespread and is ever increasing. There are plans for utilizing the UAVs for the military as well as the humanitarian and law enforcement missions such as flood and hurricane relief, firefighting, drug trafficking control, and so on. The number of UAVs is likely to continue to grow exponentially in the near future and there is a great need for the environmentally conscious design and manufacturing efforts in the UAV market. The authors are developing an integrated approach to bring the high fidelity Computer Aided Design and Engineering (CAD/E) tools to the preliminary design phase for designing new aircraft. In this paper, this approach is extended to include the environmentally conscious material selection when designing a UAV wing for the medium altitude long endurance mission. Finite Element Analysis is used to determine the material needed for the wing and the computed weights are supplied to the spreadsheet for calculating environmental impacts of different materials selected for the wing design. This spreadsheet has been developed based on the data in the Lifecycle Assessment software package SimaPro/Ecoinvent. The study demonstrates how to integrate environmental considerations into the preliminary UAV design using high fidelity models.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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