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Center Innovation Fund: AFRC CIF

High Altitude Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

High Altitude Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Innovation in the project includes designing for the smallest viable airplane, using rapid prototyping technologies, using low cost commercial UAS technologies with modification, using low cost testing and development methods, and use of academic partnerships. Key technical challenges include designing an extremely low Reynolds number glider, fitting the required avionics and telemetry equipment in a cube-sat sized airplane, and ensuring all equipment survives the harsh environment of the high altitude testing conditions. This project uses an iterative, build-up approach and reduces the largest technical risk items as it moves towards a high altitude proof of concept demonstrator. One deliverable for this year is to complete a fully integrated environmental chamber test in a flight relevant environment. Following this milestone, the project will proceed with a series of balloon launched altitude tests culminating in a Mars relevant density high altitude aerodynamic characterization flight test. More »

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Technology Maturity (TRL)

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