Solar UAV - PHOENIX

Inspired by the vision of the previous generation of project members, Aeronautics presents the inception of the design of a pioneering Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This particular UAV will be powered by solar radiation with the use of solar panels, with its primary objectives the surveillance of forest areas in case of wildfires, the prediction of the direction they are most likely to spread and the aerial observation of high at risk re-ignition areas. It is the first time Aeronautics proceeds to develop a UAV beyond the barriers of their knowledge and the guidelines of a competition. For this reason and in order to archive our goal, the project subsystems are required to expand into new design methods in an attempt to meet the challenges that will arise.

AEOLUS

You have definitely heard about our aircraft AEOLUS, with which we are going to compete in the upcoming Air Cargo Challenge (ACC) in Munich in June 2022. Our team’s endeavor was to design and manufacture a UAV powered by an electric propulsion system that follows all guidelines and competition limitations. The payload consists of a number of 300g simulated blood bags , according to the foreseen plan, it will be transported in less than 180 seconds for the maximum possible distance. The main aspect of our mission is to study the phenomenon of sloshing and minimize its effects. So far the design process has been successfully underway by our team in a time frame of eight months and shortly we are about to enter the manufacturing and detailed design phases.

ANEMONE

Anemone is an experimental aircraft that has been manufactured recently by the project. Anemone carries a variety of sensors and electronic systems in order to gather data during flight, such as velocity, acceleration, position, altitude and pressure. This data will be crucial for the development of our next generation UAVs, so that the Aerodynamics Design and the Structural sub-system will have more information that will assist them in performance and detailed design optimization. Anemone has to achieve a certain flight time in order to collect this data.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Wingspan: 2.00 m
  • Wing Area: 0.392 m2
  • Aspect Ratio (AR): 10.20
  • Airfoil: NACA 6413
  • Length: 1.30 m
  • Powerplant: Joker 3542-5.5 V3 (940)
  • Propeller: APC Electric 9×7
  • Power: 360 W
  • Empty Weight: 2.4 kg
  • Payload: 1.2 kg
  • Take-off Weight: 3.6 Kg
  • Cruise Speed: 12 m/s
  • Stall Speed: 8 m/s
  • Maiden Flight: 25/09/2021
  • Tail configuration: T-tail

AURORA

Aurora is a glider type UAV, designed and contructed for participation in the Air Cargo Challenge (ACC) in 2019 in Stuttgart, along with Nephele III. Aurora has an aft conventional tail, which has a light weight and is easy to construct. Its wings have a high aspect ratio, which helps achieve a high speed of maximum 102 km/h. Aurora’s tube shaped fuselage decreases its weight per meter, and makes it easy to store in the transportation box. The cargo bay is positioned under the fuselage.

Aurora scored us the 10th place in the competition.

Technical characteristics:

  • Wingspan: 4.16 m
  • Wing Area: 1.04 m2
  • Aspect Ratio (AR): 16.64
  • Airfoil: NACA 4413
  • Length: 2.12 m
  • Powerplant: AXI Gold 2826/10
  • Propeller: Aeronaut Cam Carbon Light 12×7
  • Power: 740 W
  • Empty Weight: 3.9 kg
  • Payload: 6.5 kg
  • Take-off Weight:
    10.4 kg
  • Cruise Speed: 18 m/s
  • Stall Speed: 11.25 m/s
  • Maiden Flight: 25/05/2019
  • Tail configuration:
    Aft conventional tail

NEPHELE III

Nephele III also took part in ACC 2019, along with Aurora. Its fuselage is also tube shaped, but its cargo bay is positioned under the wing, which reduces drag and increases stability. Tail dragger configuration was used in order to achieve the maximum propeller ground clearance and also a safe landing. The motor is placed in the front, for a better propeller efficiency. Its V-tail configuration helps reduce interference drag.

Nephele III scored us the 12th place in the competition.

Technical characteristics:

  • Wingspan: 2.65 m
  • Wing Area: 1.015 m2
  • Aspect Ratio (AR): 6.919
  • Airfoil: S1210
  • Length: 2.12 m
  • Powerplant: AXI Gold 2826/10
  • Propeller: Aeronaut Cam Carbon Light 12×7
  • Power: 740 W
  • Empty Weight: 3.5 kg
  • Payload: 6 kg
  • Take-off Weight: 9.5 kg
  • Cruise Speed: 14 m/s
  • Stall Speed: 8.95 m/s
  • Maiden Flight: 11/07/2019
  • Tail configuration:
    V-tail

NEPHELE II

Nephele II was the aircraft designed and constructed for the first time our team competed in the Air Cargo Challenge. That took place in Zagreb, Croatia in 2017. Nephele II is a hybrid balsa-CFRP aircraft, which features a high-lift lightweight airframe, configurable geometry and a low cost design. Its tube fuselage, V-tail configuration and tractor design boosted its performance and made the team score the 12th place in the competition. The UAV had a fall during the competition, but it was repaired in 2 hours.

Technical characteristics:

  • Wingspan: 2.8 m
  • Wing Area: 1.23 m2
  • Aspect Ratio (AR): 6.374
  • Airfoil: S1210
  • Length: 2.67 m
  • Powerplant: AXI Gold 2826/10
  • Propeller: APC 13×7 Sport
  • Power: 740 W
  • Empty Weight: 3.6 kg
  • Payload: 6 kg
  • Take-off Weight: 9.6 kg
  • Cruise Speed: 13 m/s
  • Stall Speed: 8.6 m/s
  • Maiden Flight: 02/08/2017
  • Tail configuration:
    V-tail

NEPHELE I

Nephele I was the original aircraft made for ACC 2017, but it never participated in it. Its improved version, Nephele II was the one that did. Nephele I was designed for high repairability and constructed with low cost materials. That’s why all of its parts were handmade by members of the team. Its first flight was in February of 2017, and it flied two times in total.

The experience and knowledge the team gathered from the study and construction of this aircraft was valuable and helped them in the successful construction of Nephele II and other future UAVs.

Technical characteristics:​

  • Wingspan: 2.42 m
  • Wing Area: 1 m2
  • Aspect Ratio (AR): 5.856
  • Airfoil: S1223
  • Length: 2 m
  • Powerplant: AXI Gold 2826/10
  • Propeller: APC 13×7 Sport
  • Power: 740 W
  • Empty Weight: 5.3 kg
  • Payload: 2 kg
  • Take-off Weight: 7.3 kg
  • Cruise Speed: 12 m/s
  • Stall Speed: 9 m/s
  • Maiden Flight: 17/02/2017
  • Tail configuration:
    Aft conventional tail