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Title: Design, Analysis, and Flight Test of a Compact, Heavy-Lift VTOL Delivery Drone
Authors: McGuinness, Noah
Spilker, Nathan
Schochet, Noah
Advisors: Nosenchuck, Daniel
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Certificate Program: Robotics & Intelligent Systems Program
Class Year: 2021
Abstract: This thesis explores the theoretical design and analysis of a serial hybrid-electric, fully-autonomous, package delivery system for midrange (250-500 mi) missions and payloads up to 25 pounds. To improve applicability without existing infrastructure, the vehicle is designed to be as compact as possible, with full vertical-takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities in a hybrid fixed-wing/tri-copter configuration. The project covers the full breadth of the design process, including initial aircraft sizing methods; propulsion, powertrain and electrical design; structural design for practical manufacture and integration; analysis of the airframe; aerodynamic analysis for stability and control; and the development of closed loop MIMO controllers for VTOL and transition flight to demonstrate controllability. Further, to explore the viability of the tri-copter configuration and prove out the VTOL control scheme, a physical scale model is constructed and flight tested.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 1924-2021

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