You are on page 1of 52

Design and Fabrication of Unmanned Air Vehicle

Launcher

By

Hammad-ur-Rehman ME-131013
Umer Danish Bashir ME-131046
Abdullah Soleh ME-131023
Charles Kumar ME-131107
Noman Iqbal ME-131123

A report submitted to the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in


fulfillment of the requirements for the ME-492 Design Project II
course of

Bachelor of Engineering

in

Mechanical Engineering Dept.

DHA Suffa University


Karachi, Pakistan

2016, Hammad-ur-Rehman, Dr.Bilal Siddiqui

1
Abstract
An unmanned air vehicle launcher is required for defence and surveillance requirements.
A basic hindrance in the use of U.A.V. is the requirement of large runway for takeoff,
which is difficult to arrange. Therefore we are building a U.A.V. catapult mechanism to
aid in this situation. The catapult is a lightweight and rigid structure that is able to
accommodate different sizes of U.A.Vs for the launch. The base of the catapult is a truss
structure that is very light and strong. Guidance rail is attached on top of the structure for
the trolley travel. This report evaluates the multiple design solutions of a lightweight,
portable and rigid structure of UAV launcher that can be designed and fabricated as per the
specific requirements.

2
Table of Contents

Abstract .............................................................................................................................. 2

Table of Contents .............................................................................................................. 3

List of Tables ..................................................................................................................... 5

List of Figures .................................................................................................................... 6

Chapter 1: Introduction ............................................................................................. 7

1.1 Unmanned Air Vehicle Launcher ........................................................................ 7

1.2 Bunge/Spring........................................................................................................ 7

1.3 Pneumatic ............................................................................................................. 7

1.4 Hydraulic .............................................................................................................. 8

1.5 Electromagnetic .................................................................................................... 8

1.6 Problem Statement ............................................................................................... 8

1.7 Objective .............................................................................................................. 8

Chapter 2: Literature Review .................................................................................... 9

2.1 Robonic UAV Launching System: ....................................................................... 9

2.2 Meggit Defence System ....................................................................................... 9

2.3 TASUMA Aerospace Composite Engineering: ................................................. 11

2.4 ARIES Defence & Security: .............................................................................. 11

Chapter 3: Design Methodology .............................................................................. 13

3
3.1 Design Requirements: ........................................................................................ 13

3.2 Designs for launching mechanism ..................................................................... 13

3.3 Chosen Mechanism ............................................................................................ 16

3.4 Design Calculations & Simulation ..................................................................... 21

References ........................................................................................................................ 41

Appendix A: Basic Design Calculations........................................................................ 42

Appendix B: Detailed Design Calculations ................................................................... 47

4
List of Tables

Table 3.4.2.6: Design Parameters by simulations ..................................................................................... 35

5
List of Figures

Figure 2.1: MC0315L UAV Launcher [3] ................................................................................................. 09

Figure 2.2: UAV Launcher mounted on single axes trailer [4] ....................................................... 10

Figure 2.2.1: Elastic Launcher [5] ......................................................................................................... .10

Figure 2.3: A3 observer UAV Launcher [6] ........................................................................................ 11

Figure 2.4: Atlas ME-01 UAV Launcher [7]........................................................................................ 12

Figure 3.2.1: Bungee UAV Launcher [8] .............................................................................................. 14

Figure 3.2.2: Car Top UAV Launcher [9] ............................................................................................ 15

Figure 3.2.3: Pneumatic Launcher [10]................................................................................................. 16

Figure 3.3.2: Schematic of Pneumatic System ..................................................................................... 18

Figure 3.4.1.4: Simulink Model replicating the behavior of tank discharge process ................. 22

Figure 3.4.1.5: Compression between SimScape and Analytical Model ........................................ 24

Figure 3.4.1.6.1: SimScape Model for Pneumatic Piston Actuator ................................................. 25

Figure 3.4.1.6.2: Comparison of pressure profile between Analytical & SimScape ................... 26

Figure 3.4.1.6.3: Velocity Comparison between Analytical and SimScape .................................. 27

Figure 3.4.1.7.1: Pressure comparison between Analytical and SimScape .................................... 29

Figure 3.4.1.7.2: Velocity Profile comparison between Analytical and SimScape Combine ....... 30

Figure 3.4.2.4.1: Pressure Vs Time graph ................................................................................................. 33

Figure 3.4.2.4.2: Pressure Vs Time graph ................................................................................................. 34

Figure 3.4.2.4.3: Friction force graph ........................................................................................................ 35

Figure 3.4.2.5.1: Absolute Pressure Vs Time graph ................................................................................. 36

Figure 3.4.2.5.2: Prototype Vs SimScape Piston Pressure model ............................................................ 37

Figure 3.4.2.6.1: UAV Launcher Velocity at the end ............................................................................... 39

Figure 3.4.2.6.2: Pressure on Piston ........................................................................................................... 39

Figure 3.4.2.6.3: Pressure in Accumulator ................................................................................................ 40

6
Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Unmanned Air Vehicle Launcher

An unmanned air vehicle launcher is a mechanism which allows the unmanned air vehicle

to be launched from almost everywhere (like rough terrains, urban areas etc.) in a relatively

short distance. It also eliminate the need of runway. There are few types of unmanned air

vehicle launchers based on power generation methods (e.g. Bunge/Spring, pneumatic,

Hydraulic, electromagnetic etc.). Depending on the design, they can be based on multiple

platforms including ships, land vehicles, and even other aircraft [1].

1.2 Bunge/Spring
Bungee/Spring Bungee or spring systems store the required energy for launch by physical

compression or extension of the elastic component. They are typically inexpensive,

lightweight, and relatively simple to implement. Using AVAs [2] existing launcher as an

example of the simplicity, this system does not require a shuttle or retainer.

1.3 Pneumatic
Pneumatic systems are found to be the most common. They utilize compressed air to

generate the necessary launching force.

7
1.4 Hydraulic
Hydraulic launchers are less common than pneumatic, and they have higher pressure

requirements for the hydraulic uid than their pneumatic counterparts. These system

requires high pressure to operate therefore safety precautions must be applied while dealing

with them.

1.5 Electromagnetic
Electromagnetic systems are essentially modied rail guns using uctuating magnetic

elds to propel a ferrous shuttle down the launch rail. These systems are highly complex

and demand a signicant amount of electrical power.

1.6 Problem Statement


The problem at hand is to design and manufacture a U.A.V. catapult mechanism that is

able to launch a U.A.V at take-off speed within a short track at a small tilt angle.

1.7 Objective

To build an unmanned air vehicle launcher that can safely launch an unmanned air vehicle

with in a short distance, while providing a launch velocity appreciably above the stall

speed, and save the cost of a larger tarmac runway.

The aim of this project is to design and fabricate a light weight, rigid and portable structure

of UAV launcher to launch UAVs for surveillance at DHA City Karachi.

8
Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.1 Robonic UAV Launching System:


The MC0315L shown in the (figure: 2.1), is the latest fully pneumatic catapult in the

Robonic family and is optimised to meet the growing market demand for tactically

responsive launch systems for small UAVs and light target drones. It is capable of

launching 40Kg unmanned air vehicle at a speed of 15m/s. This is achieved using a

pneumatic system that operates at up to 10 bar, providing a smooth acceleration profile

along the 3.5m launch rail. However, it is very disadvantageous for us because our

objective is to carry a payload of 200kg with a maximum launching speed of 50m/s.

Figure 2.1-MC0315L UAV Launcher [3]

2.2 Meggit Defence System


The Meggitt group of companies manufacturing different types of unmanned air vehicle

launchers. The launcher shown in (figure: ` 2.2) is MDS Hercules Pneumatic Launcher,

capable of launching a 250Kg unmanned air vehicle at a speed of 55m/s. This is achieved

using a low pressure pneumatic system that operates at up to 10 bar, providing a smooth

acceleration profile along the 16m folding launch rail. The total weight of the launcher is

6000kg.However, the disadvantage in our case include: Huge weight, High purchasing

cost, not available in Pakistan.

9
Figure 2.2-UAV Launcher mounted on single axes trailer [4]

2.2.1 Meggit Defence System


Another launcher made by Meggit is shown in the (figure: 2.2.1), known as elastic

launcher. The launcher is a free standing unit based on a 6.22 meter launch rail with a 15

launch angle when deployed. The air vehicle is mounted on a trolley that moves freely

along the rail. The trolley is driven through four elastic power bands, tensioned with a rail-

mounted electric winch. It has the capability to withstand with a maximum payload of

20Kg with maximum launch velocity of 20m/s. However, this launcher is disadvantageous

for us as it is not capable to launch a load of 200Kg.

Figure 2.2.1-Elastic Launcher [5]

10
2.3 TASUMA Aerospace Composite Engineering:
The unmanned air vehicle launcher A3 Observer shown in (figure: 2.3) is manufactured

by TASUMA. The launcher has adjustable elevation angle of 5 to 20 degrees, actuated by

electro-hydraulic ram with a maximum launch weight of 50kg. The rail length is 7.5m and

the maximum launch speed is 35m/s. However, it is disadvantageous for because it is not

capable to carry our desired launch load of 200kg.

Figure 2.3-A3 Observer UAV Launcher [6]

2.4 ARIES Defence & Security:


The ATLAS ME-01 shown in the (figure: 2.4) is the ultimate technology for medium-

weight UAVs launching. Very high performances, autonomous driving force, maximum

flexibility, fully customisable, high mobility (foldable and transportable on a standard

trailer), and fully ensured repeatability in all environments and operational scenarios. The

launcher is actuated by medium pressure pneumatic and has the ability to launch a

maximum pay load of 150Kg with a maximum launch velocity 38m/s. However, the design

doesnt meet out desired specifications the desired pay load is 200Kg with a maximum

launch velocity of 50m/s.

11
Figure 2.4-ATLAS ME-01 UAV Launcher [7]

In conclusion, after having a thorough market survey, it is found that, there is a general

lack of information available for UAV launching systems. This is primarily attributed to a

low degree of innovation in the designs. As a result of this, there is not a high degree of

competition in the market. The limited cases for which comprehensive information is

available are for the few companies producing launchers compatible with multiple UAV

platforms. Their marketing strategies lead to the second conclusion that, the market is not

yet responding to swarming UAV scenarios. Frequently highlighted features of an

advertised system are its ease of setup and portability. This is likely because these two

variables greatly affect the versatility and ease of use of the UAV. However, parameters

critical to swarming scenarios, like UAV loading and system reset times, are rarely

mentioned. However, they all failed to satisfy our design criteria, that it should be portable,

light weight, rigid structure and should be capable to launch a maximum load of 200Kg

with a launch velocity of 50m/s.

12
Due to the limitations involved in the UAV launchers discussed under the literature

review section there is a need for making a UAV launcher from scratch that would

overcome all given requirements.

Chapter 3: Design Methodology

3.1 Design Requirements:


The unmanned air vehicle launcher is to be designed and fabricate for DHA city Karachi.

It is to be used for the surveillance of the city. The required specifications for the design

are,

It should be portable, so that it can carry out to the desired location.

It should be light weight.

The structure should be rigid, in order to bear all the reaction forces during service.

Capable to launch a maximum mass of 200Kg.

The launch velocity should be greater than / equal to 20% more than given stall

speed.

3.2 Designs for launching mechanism


Various launching mechanisms that can be used in our UAV launcher are given below,

with their functionality.

3.2.1 Design 1: Bungee Launch


This design is based on a rail and trolley mounted on any platform. The trolley is then

driven by using elastic energy, accumulated in rubber cords, into kinetic energy.

13
The advantages using bungee launcher are:

Light weight.

Free energy.

Portable.

Figure 3.2.1-Bungee UAV Launcher [8]

In this design one end of bungee is attached with the rail while the other end is attached

with trolley. The trolley is then forced back at the starting point of rail in order to store

potential energy in bungee. As the trolley release the stored potential energy is then

converted into kinetic energy which produce the lift for the mounted UAV on trolley.

3.2.2 Design 2: UAV Car Top Launch


In this mechanism a UAV is mounted on the top of the car and the launching is done by

moving the car with launch speed.

The main advantages for using UAV car top launch are:

14
Simple in design.

Cost is very low.

Easy to setup and launch.

Light weight.

Portable.

Figure 3.2.2-Car Top UAV Launcher [9]

As the car moves forward the velocity is increased. When the speed of the car reached at

the launch speed, the UAV is then released and its start flying up in the air.

3.2.3 Design 3: Pneumatic Launch


The system consist of an air chamber, piston cylinder assembly, air compressor and control

panel. The low pressure pneumatic energy conversion is used to launch the UAVs.

The two main advantages of the systems are:

15
High launch velocities.

Capable of launching high pay loads.

Figure 3.2.3-Pneumatic Launcher [10]

In this design the pay load is launched by mean of pressure. A long cylinder enclosed by

piston is mounted with the rail. A hard metal wire along with pulleys is joining the trolley

with the piston to produce forward and backward motion. As the pressure applies to the

piston, it move the trolley to produce launch speed.

3.3 Chosen Mechanism

3.3.1 Evaluation
The designs that were illustrated and discussed earlier for launching mechanism are

evaluated below.

Design 1: Bungee launch

Advantages: Light weight, free energy, portable, maintenance cost is low, rigid structure.

Disadvantages: Unable to launch heavy payloads (> 45 Kg).

16
Design 2: UAV car top launch

Advantages: Light weight, simple design, portable, purchasing cost is very low.

Disadvantages: Road is required to drive car, Not able to launch heavy payloads (> 20 Kg).

Design 3: Pneumatic launch

Advantages: Capable to launch heavy payloads (>200Kg), portable, rigid structure.

Disadvantages: complex design, expensive.

3.3.2 Chosen Design

Based on the evaluation above, the most suitable design based on our requirements is

Design Pneumatic Launch. The 3D cad model for the mechanism is created in Solid

works. Different views of the mechanism are given below:

17
Pulley for steel cable
Launch Rail, 55 ft
Aircraft, 400Wheeled
lb

Start position of the trolley

piston
Compressor 100 psi, 5

cfm
Pneumatic Cylinder,

200 mm bore, 50 ft
Accumulator 220
stroke of the piston
End position
cu.ft.

Figure 3.3.2-Schematic of pneumatic system

Isometric View

18
Front View

Side View

19
System Isometric view

Trolley Front View

20
Trolley Isometric View

3.4 Design Calculations & Simulation

We have modeled our complete U.A.V Launcher in SIMSCAPE/MATLAB for the initial

sizing and optimization of operational parameters. We at first did some calculations based

on research papers to validate our simulation. Along with the construction of prototype for

a simple pneumatic actuator to validate the simulations.

3.4.1 Analytical Validation of Simulation

3.4.1.1 Simulink Model

Simulink is a tool linked with MATLAB, which provides a wired blocks based modeling

technique. This approach provides strong visual confirmation the user about the models

correctness and getting sense out of it. Within Simulink there are different modules that

21
range from computational mathematical modeling to physical modeling block systems.

Physical modeling system is called the SIMSCAPE.

3.4.1.2 SIMSCAPE Physical Modeling Technique

SIMSCAPE provides strong blocks based mathematical modeling of physical structures,

with the ability to connect them in a real world kind of manner. This real world depiction

of mathematical model provides immense help in modeling complex real world systems

with great ease. In this way modeling large systems in SIMSCAPE allows users to model

their non-linearity as well. But to get confidence over the model, the model needs to be

validated, with physical model and/or mathematical models that themselves have been

validated. We utilized both of these methods to validate our model.

3.4.1.3 Research Paper Based Simulink Model Verification is carried out

We researched and short listed two research papers from resources like American Society

for Engineering Education, 2007 [11] and INTECH [12]. These papers model pressure

vessel charging/discharging process and pneumatic piston actuator model respectively.

These research papers have derivation of mathematical model that are being validated by

physical models. We programmed mathematical models from these papers and

simultaneously solved resulting non-linear differential equations with MATLAB ODE45,

tool. Results were compared with equivalent Simulink models.

3.4.1.4 Modeling Research Paper by Thorncroft, Patton and Gordon

[11] In this paper mathematical model for the differential state changes of ideal gas upon

discharge and charging process of accumulator have been derived. Ideal gas assumption

22
was carried out along with isentropic flow through the nozzle. Applying the mass

conservation principles they have defined a differential, density change expression that is

further integrated to find final density and other state parameters of ideal gas.

1 (+1 )

( ) 2 1 2 2(1 )
= [1 + ]
2

For Mt: P o / P cv < 0.528

= 1

Else Mt, P o / P cv > 0.528

1
1 2
2
= {( ) 1}
1

This mathematical model has been solved in Matlab with ODE45 suite and compared with

the results of equivalent Simulink SIMSCAPE model shown in (figure: 3.4.1.4) which

validates the above equation.

23
Figure 3.4.1.4-Simulink model replicating the behavior of tank discharge process.

3.4.1.5 Results and Discussion

A Matlab scrip has been written to evaluate the behavior of both the tests, from analytical

model and from the SIMSCAPE model. Results are displayed in the (figure: 3.4.1.5) which

show the relative error of only 2-4 percent, and that verifies the SIMSCAPE model for tank

discharge.

These two models actually caters different type of orifice approximations. The SIMSCAPE

model uses flow discharge coefficient to model the flow in and out of the tank while the

analytical model uses the nozzle flow which is controlled by the polytrophic coefficient for

non-linearity. This poses a mismatch in the numerical accuracy for both models but the

24
overall trend is same in both of them, at different values of Cd and n for respective models,

we are able to verify their accuracy as shown in (figure: 3.4.1.5).

Figure 3.4.1.5-Comparison between SIMSCAPE and analytical models, with parametric


study of polytrophic constant and flow discharge coefficient.

3.4.1.6 Research Paper 02

[12] This research studies the behaviour of an ideal pneumatic actuator, with ideal gas

properties and .He worked out a mathematical model for differential pressure at the piston,

with the energy coservation and mass conservation principles.

.
= . .


, is ,

mU.A.V X = (P2 (t) A2 Psea A2 )

[m g Sin + 12 X 2 S CD sea + (m g Cos 12 X 2 S CL sea )]

25
We neglect friction effects in this models as per, assumptions taken

An equivalent model on SIMSCAPE has been constructed as in (figure 3.4.1.6) All the

parameters in both the models are kept equal and same. There have been a very good

approximation in th epressure response in the two models but a significatnt overshoot in

velocity profile of the simulink model has been observed along with slight higher pressure,

an explanation for this effect is considered to be the temperature gradient effect, which has

been modeled in SIMSCAPE but in the analytical model has been assumed to be negligible.

Figure 3.4.1.6.1-SIMSCAPE model for the pneumatic piston actuator

26
Figure 3.4.1.6.2-Comparision of pressure profile between analystical and SIMSCAPE
models for pneumatic actuator.
Figure 3.4.1.6.3-This graph compares velocity of piston in pneumatic actuator as
predicted by the analytical and SIMSCAPE models

27
3.4.1.7 Coupling the Two Systems

Ok for coupling the two systems we know that for actuator system only controllable

parameter by the tank model is mass flow rate. And also this mass flow rate from the tank

side model is affected by the pressure on the actuator, instantaneously. Modified equations

are:

1 (+1 )
2(1 )
( ) 2 1 2
= [1 + ]
2

For Mt: P o / P cv < 0.528

= 1

Else Mt, P o / P cv > 0.528 here Po=P , P from actuator

1
1 2
2
= {( ) 1}
1

28
=

.
= . .

mU.A.V X = (P2 (t) A2 Psea A2 ) [m g Sin + 12 X 2 S CD sea +

(m g Cos 12 X 2 S CL sea )]

An equivalent SIMSCAPE model has been constructed for this study. All the parameters

in both the models, analytical and SIMSCAPE one, are kept same.

In this model we combined the two simpler analytical models above to form a complete

pneumatic actuator system. For the coupling effect we introduced the changing mass flow

rate out of the tank discharge model into the piston cylinder model and fed its pressure

differential to the tank model to calculate respective Mach no. this in turn modifies the

velocity of piston and assembly which feeds back the effects of mass and friction back on

the model.

29
Figure 3.4.1.7.1-Comparison between pressure at piston analytical and SIMSCAPE
results of combined model.

30
Figure 3.4.1.7.2-Comparison between velocity profile of analytical and SIMSCAPE
results of combined model.

31
3.4.2 Prototype Manufacturing

3.4.2.1 Introduction

A prototype testing rig has been developed to validate the analytical and SIMSCAPE

simulation results, and to be able to use SIMSCAPE model for the complete U.A.V.

catapult mechanism sizing and run time calculations. Idea is to run the piston cylinder

device with compressor and pressurized tank similar to the analytical and SIMSCAPE

constructed models and compare the results as in post processing. The study is intended to

validate the SIMSCAPE model within acceptable error tolerance. This study will led the

pathway for the more complex and complete computer aided SIMSCAPE model simulation

for the exact sizing and optimization of system parameters.

3.4.2.2 Methodology

A prototype of piston cylinder device has been constructed with PVC cylinder and Teflon

piston. Choice of material is based on the need of fine surface requirement in small time

and budget. Teflon piston is provided with slots for O-rings that should serve the purpose

of air tight mechanism and lubrication of the whole cylinder from inside. 5mm thickness

and 80 mm diameter Or-rings are used for the purpose.

To make our prototype we use a PVC pipe of length 1.5 m diameter of 3 inch and 2.8 inch

inner diameter which can bare a pressure up to 35 psi. For piston we use Teflon with dia.

2.75 inch and length of 1.5 inch. On one end we use a cap and on the other hand we used

a threaded cap, on threaded cap we made a inlet for compressed air and also attached our

32
pressure sensor spark fun 14 bar. For compressed air we used a medium range

compressor which gives us compressed air on pressure on of 3.5 kPa.

3.4.2.3 Break Away Friction Test (Test 01)

In this test we want to know at what pressure or force our piston start moving or counter

friction so for that we used a portable car tire pump to provide a compress air for our

cylinder, as you can see in Graph 1. Initially pressure increases inside cylinder and at

pressure of 1130 mBar. Piston Friction force resisting to move and after some time pressure

reaches to 1150 mBar it is the point where friction force is less than the force provided by

the compress air.

3.4.2.4 Break Away Friction Test (Test 02)

Pressure VS Time
1160
1140
1120
Pressre mBar

1100
1080
1060
1040
1020
1000
0 2 4 6 8 10 12
Time Step 5000 mSec
Graph 1.

Figure 3.4.2.4.1-Pressure Vs Time graph

33
For this test we used a Car tire air compressor, as you can see in (figure 3.4.2.4.2). Initially

there is reading of 1000 mbar and after some time pressure inside start increasing and at

1300 mbar our Piston start moving and our pressure inside start decreasing to 1050 mbar

and cause to stop piston again, because of increase in inner volume but as compress air

provide by a double stage compressor to increase pressure inside, air pressure rise again

and know our piston start moving again on a pressure of 1200 mBar and same phenomena

increasing of volume and decreasing of pressure goes on but at the end you can see pressure

rises 1100 mbar to 1300 mbar because of max inner volume and at that point our cylinder

fill of compress air.

Pressure VS Time
1400

1200

1000
Pressure mBar

800

600

400

200

0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Time Step 1000 sec
Graph 2.

Figure 3.4.2.4.2-Pressure Vs Time graph

34
In (figure 3.4.2.4.3). as you can see initial force required by the piston to overcome its

friction between piston O-ring and cylinder wall which is 150N, at that force our piston

start moving and friction force decreasing to approx. 20 N and after that it start increasing

again up to 75N and that increase and decrease of friction force goes on but at the end it

again goes to a force of 150N. This all because of car pump we are using which has no tank

of pre compressed air.

Force of Friction
180

160

140

120

100
Force in N

80

60

40

20

0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
-20

-40
Time Step 1000 mSec
Graph 3.

Figure 3.4.2.4.3-Friction Force graph

35
3.4.2.5 High Pressure Test (Test 03)

For this test we used a medium range commercial Compressor and cylinder to maintain

flow rate and to provide compress air continuously to minimize the effect of increase in

volume which may cause decrease in pressure of cylinder which you can see in (figure:

3.4.2.5.1) . Here as we open valve of compress air for our piston cylinder piston, Our Piston

start moving smoothly but at a low velocity because of low pressure during this it achieve

max pressure of 2000 mBar while it start moving approximately at 1100 mBar but there is

no delay for because of drop in pressure piston move smoothly.

Absolute Pressure VS Time T3


2500

2000
Pressure in mBar

1500

1000

500

0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
Time Step 50 mSec
Graph 4.

Figure 3.4.2.5.1-Absolute Pressure Vs Time

36
This test is then compared with the results from SIMSCAPE model, and the results are

presented in the Figure. , there it shows the remarkable similarity between the results. As

in the prototype model valve is opened like a ramp applied, in a short time period which is

also included in the SIMSCAPE model for more realistic results, also frictional damping

is added in the SIMSCAPE model to make it more prone to the prototype model and the

results are a 90% similar.

prototype vs simulink
2500 90

80

2000 70

60
piston pressure (mBar)

1500 50

matlab_simulink
40
prototype_data
analytical_results
1000 30
error

20

500 10

0 -10
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
time_step 50 mili Sec

Figure: 3.4.2.5.2-Prototype vs SIMSCAPE piston pressure model

37
3.4.2.6 System Parameter Characterization

Now we use our SIMSCAPE model to find out the actual sizing parameters for our U.A.V

catapult mechanism. We have written a MATLAB script that runs a Monte Carlo based

simulation which tends to find optimum system parameters. Monte Carlo simulation has

been constructed on the basis of cost function that indicates the best performance

parameters after thousands of iterations.

We are in our initial phase of sizing our system to be operated with pneumatically powered

actuator.

For our prototype model we are targeting a light weight U.A.V class with weight of about

15-25 Kg. and end velocity of 13-23 m/s. we are running through series of Monte Carlo

simulations to reach out to optimized parameters for the catapult.

After first few Monte Carlo tests we have found design parameters, shown in (Table:

3.4.2.6), Velocity graph, shown in (figure: 3.4.2.6.1), Piston Pressure graph, shown in

(figure: 3.4.2.6.2) and Accumulator graph, shown in (figure: 3.4.2.6.3).

Parameter Value Optimum


Piston Diameter 148 mm 100 - 150 mm
Accumulator Volume 350 Liter 300 - 500 Liter
End Velocity 21 m/s 20 - 23 m/s
Table 3.4.2.6-Design Parameters

38
Figure 3.4.2.6.1- U.A.V. Launcher Velocity at the end

Figure 3.4.2.6.2- Pressure on Piston

39
Figure 3.4.2.6.3- Pressure in Accumulator

40
References

[1] Raymond L. Davis, Mechanical Design and Optimization of Swarm-Capable UAV


Launcher Systems, Thesis, Naval Postgraduate School Monterey California, 2015.
[2] AVA, Air Vision Air Catapult, [Online]. Available: http://www.air-vision-
air.com/products-for-you/asm300-2-5-6kg-catapult/

[3] Robonic, Robonic UAV Launching Systems, 2012. [Online]. Available:


http://www.robonic.fi/mc0315l/

[4] Meggit, Meggit Defence System Ltd, 2015. [Online]. Available:


https://meggitttargetsystems.com/en-ca/products-and-services/launchers-for-unmanned-
systems/hercules-launcher/

[5] Meggit, Meggit Defence System Ltd, 2015. [Online]. Available:


https://meggitttargetsystems.com/en-ca/products-and-services/launchers-for-unmanned-
systems/lightweight-launcher/

[6] TASUMA, TASUMA Aerospace Composite Engineering, [Online]. Available:


http://www.tasuma-uk.com/tasuma.php?p=40

[7], [8] ARIES, ARIES Defence and Security, [Online]. Available:


http://www.ariestesting.com/solutions-by-applications/unmanned-aerial-systems/uav-launchers/

[9] UAV Factory, Unmanned Air Vehicle Factory, [Online]. Available:


http://www.uavfactory.com/product/47

[10] ARIES, ARIES Defence and Security, [Online]. Available:


http://www.ariestesting.com/solutions-by-markets/unmanned-aerial-systems-uas/
[11] Glen Throncroft, J. Scott Patton & Raymond Gordon, Modeling Compressible Air
Flow in a Charging or Discharging Vessel and Assessment of Polytrophic Exponent,
Thesis, American Society for Engineering Education, 2007.
[12] Dr. Djordje Dihovicni and Dr. Miroslav Medenica, Mathematical Modelling and
Simulation of Pneumatic Systems, [Online]. Available:
http://www.intechopen.com/books/advances-in-computer-science-and-engineering

41
Appendix A: Basic Design Calculations

In this section, we will explore the possibility of accelerating a 200 kg aircraft on a catapult

to launch speeds of nearly 180 km/hr (50 m/s or 100 knots).

For launching an aircraft weighing nearly 200 kg, it is not possible to use spring-loaded or

bungee type of catapults. The only option is to use either steam, hydraulic or pneumatic

power. Steam is an efficient catapult power source (used universally on all aircraft carrier

ships), but is problematic in the sense that heat signature of the steam source (boiler) is

easily detectable from the air/satellite. Hydraulic power comes at the price of maintaining

leak free piston movement and slow piston speeds. This leaves us with the option of the

pneumatically powered catapult.

The nearly constant force required to catapult an aircraft from rest to the launch speed

depends on the length of the ramp as well as the angle of the ramp with the ground. Using

a simpler analysis, we can argue that the velocity imparted at take-off is directly

proportional to the force applied.

2
= 2

Where n is the efficiency of acceleration a and Sramp is ramp length. Efficiency n takes care

of drag and ramp angle effects. For take-off velocity of 50 m/s, acceleration with ramp

length is shown in Figure 1.

42
Figure 1 Variation of Required Acceleration with Ramp Length for Exit Velocity of 50 m/s.

Therefore, to keep the structural design manageable, we choose a ramp length of 15 m (50

ft), which requires an acceleration of 10 g with n=0.8. We will use a moderate ramp angle

of 10.

Assuming that the piston and counter weight add another 20 kg weight, then the total

kinetic energy required to catapult the aircraft to launch speed is

1 2
1
= = 200 502 = 250
2 2

This is the required energy to be imparted to the aircraft for attaining the specified speed

at the end of the launch rail. This energy should be equal to the work done by the force Fcat

imparted by the system in moving through the distance Sramp.

= = 250 103 = 17 (3800 )

For a pneumatic cylinder with piston diameter (bore) of dp, the pressure required is

43

=
2
4

Variation of required constant pressure in the pneumatic cylinder with bore is shown in

Figure 2 Variation of Cylinder Pressure with Bore Diameter for Required Force

We will use a bore diameter of 200 mm for a cylinder pressure of 77.5 psi (5.25 bar). Total

displacement of the cylinder will be = 4 2 = 0.5 3 = 18 3 . This stroke

2
time can be approximated as = = 0.7 . Therefore, the compressor should be


able to give a flow rate of = = 0.73 1 = 1050. Obviously, this is too much

of a flow rate to be handled by an affordable compressor alone. For this purpose, we

introduce an accumulator (air storage tank) to be able to handle the sudden demand in

pressurized air due to movement of piston.

44
To size the accumulator, we need to specify the maximum and minimum pressures. Let us

allow a variation of 10 psi pressure, i.e. Pmax=75 psi and Pmin= 85 psi, with a mean operating

pressure of P0=80 psi. Therefore, the volume acc of the accumulator can be found from

adiabatic expansion relation of air.

+ 0.714 0.5
= ( ) = 0.714 = 85 0.714
= 5.353 =

( ) 1 ( )
75
1

5350 = 200 3

Therefore, the solution is to have a huge accumulator (which can be manufactured easily)

and connect it to a low cost pressure source. Such a low cost compressor could be, for

example the Husky 20 gallon electric-powered portable or the Ningbo 200 liter gas-

powered compressors.

For an air delivery rate of about 5 cfm, these compressor can fill the accumulator in

220
= = = 45
5

An alternate source of pressure can be three Scuba tanks of 80 cu ft each, connected in

parallel, depressurized to 85 psi. Also oxygen cylinders for welding come in 220 cu ft

capacity.

To summarize, the pneumatic rail launcher will have the specifications shown in Table 1.

45
Table 1 Parameters of Pneumatic Rail Launcher

Parameter SI Units Imperial Units

Piston diameter 250 mm 10 inch

Piston length 250 mm 10 inch

Stroke length 15 m 590 inch

Cylinder length 15.25 m 600 inch

Minimum pressure 5 kg/cm2 75 psi (5 bar)

Maximum pressure 6 kg/cm2 85 psi (6 bars)

Cylinder displacement 0.75 m3 (750 liters) 27.5 ft3

Thrust of piston 17 kN (1.7 tons) 3800 lbf

Acceleration to a 200kg 100 m/s2 320 ft/s2

mass

Exit velocity 50 m/s 170 ft/s

Stroke time 0.7 s 0.7 s

Accumulator size 0.6 m3 (6000 liters) 220 cu. ft.

Readiness time 45 minutes 45 minutes

46
Appendix B: Detailed Design Calculations

TANK SIDE

1 (0) 1 (0) =4.5


= [ ]
1 () 2 ()

1 (0)
1 ( ) =
2 ()
1 (0)

1 1 (0) 1 ()1 1
=
1 (0)

1 1 (0) 1
=
1 ()1 (1)
1 (0)

ALSO:

1 ()
1 ( ) =
1

1 1
= (2)
1

47
FOR CYLINDER:

2 = = 2
4
Dead Volume:

2 (0) = 2 2

we can initially set

2 (0) = = 1

Later, we need to investigate whether it is advantageous to select

2 (0) = 1 or
sin
2 (0) = 4.5 5.5 @ = 200 = 75
( 2 )
4
2 (0) = 2 0

2 (0) = 2 (0) 2 (0)



2 (0) = 1.233 3
2 (0) = 298

At t > 0:

2 ( ) = 2 ( ) 2 ()

2 2 2
= [2 () + 2 ( ) ] (3)

Also:

48
2 ()
2 =
2 ()

2 2
2 [2 () ( )] [ 2 ( ) ( )]
= (4)
2 2 ()

Volume Dilation in Simply Explained

2
= 2 (5)

Now Simplifying:

mU.A.V X = P2 (t) A2
Psea A2 [m g Sin + 12 X 2 S CD sea
+ (m g Cos 12 X 2 S CL sea )] (6)

TEMPERATURE GRADIANT:

Two systems are interlinked therefor the temperature in one system affects the

other from equation (3) on Tank Side.

1 1 1
= [1 1 () ] 1 1 () (4)

49
PISTON SIDE:
1
2 () 2 ()
= [ ]
1 () 1 ()

2 ( ) 1
2 () 1 ( ) 2
= 2
1 () 1 ()

2 1
2 () 2 1 ()

2 ()

= ( 1) [ ] = 2
1 () 1 ()

2 1
= 1 1 ( ) [2 ( )

2 1
2 2 () 2 1 () 2 ()
1 ( ) ( 1) { } ] (5)
1 () 1 2

NOW FOR MASS FLOW THROUGH THE VALVE

2 +1
2 ( ) 2 ( )
= 2 1 ( )1 () ( ) [{ } { } ] (6)
1 1 ( ) 1 ( )

Remaining Equation is to obvious


= (7)

50
So Equation (7) nonlinear differential equation needs to be solved.

STEADY STATE ANALYSIS:

Let, = 50 = and = 0

(8)

2 2 = ( + ) + 12 2 [ ] +

2 2 = ( + ) + 1 2 [ ]
(8)
2

It is obvious that desired Pressure in piston at stroke end should be proportional to and

to mass of (U.A.V + Launcher system) as well as drag proportional to the square of end

speed, but inversely proportional to piston area.

Now Re-Write Equation 8 and 7 respectively and become 8a and 7 bellow.

1
2 =
[ ( + )
2
+ 12 2 [ ]] (8 )

1
= [2 () 2 2 ( + )

12 2 {0 + ( )}] (7 )

1
(0) = [ ( + )]

At t=0

51
Dilation of Piston Cylinder Volume

2
= 2 (9)

For Constant Pressure:

2

2

= 0 = 2
2



2

2 2 = 0


=

2 2 (10)

52