Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
This report discusses the design, construction, and testing of a lightweight, portable UAV launcher. There is a current need for a small team of soldiers to launch a US Marine Tier II UAV in a remote location without transport. Research was conducted into existing UAV launcher designs and the pros and cons of each were recorded. This research served as a basis for concept generation during the initial design development stage. It was required that the design weigh less than 110 lbs, occupy a smaller volume than 48" x 24" 18" in its collapsed state, be portable by a single soldier, able to be operated by two soldiers, and launch a 55 lb UAV at 52.3 ft/s. In this report is the detailed analysis and design of the first prototype of such a launcher. The launcher operates using a set of six elastic surgical tubing members and an electric winch and features a collapsible frame made of lightweight aluminum 6061-T6. The launcher succeeded in reaching an exit velocity of 53.7 ft/s, set-up and tear-down times under five minutes, weight of 62 lbs, a collapsed volume measuring 43" x 14.5" x 14" and the need for only a single operator.
Aeronautical Vehicles Commons, Applied Mechanics Commons, Engineering Mechanics Commons, Engineering Physics Commons, Mechanics of Materials Commons, Other Aerospace Engineering Commons, Other Engineering Science and Materials Commons, Other Mechanical Engineering Commons, Propulsion and Power Commons