Manta will contain a number of key developments which build upon Loughborough UAV's experience in the IMechE UAS Competition.
Our team is composed of multiple cohesive groups working on different sectors:
· Airframe Design
· Digital Systems
Our members are working smart and hard contributing to each sector of the project - designing and developing, building and manufacturing, report delivering, and marketing/business case presentations in this competitive challenge.
The maturity of the image recognition systems and flexibility in our novel propulsion system means that completing all optional missions would be feasible. (as well as the main payload mission with various weights).
In humanitarian aid missions, the customer must have ease of use of the unmanned air vehicle (UAV). From deployment to operation of the UAV, it is necessary that the user has to spend the minimum amount of time interacting with Manta on the ground so that it can complete missions and get relief to those who need it in the shortest time possible.
Manta does so whilst also reflecting our core values: to be Reliable, Sustainable and Transparent.
One of our primary objectives is to complete the design, development, testing, production, and retirement of Manta in a sustainable manner. To so requires new techniques and technologies that must undergo testing to ensure that Manta has reliable performance whenever a user interacts with it.
Fixed, rotary and hybrid winged aircraft were all initially evaluated however, for the chosen mission strategy and core missions, specifically the climb and glide, a fixed wing aircraft was most suitable.
We want our propulsion system to have no effect in all forms of stability for accuracy in flight configuration and core mission.
Navigation System and Test Bed
ArduPilot is an open source we will be using to modify the code base to add additional features, such as autonomous flight path smooth to reduce the jerkiness of Manta when maneuvering.
The team will produce a test bed aircraft called 'Mobula' which will be a structural and aerodynamic representation of Manta..
The purpose of the mission is to provide humanitarian aid in remote countries and not every scenario around the world will have a suitable land for take off.
Safety of the user is paramount and shall be considered in the design.
Loughborough UAV has also considered optimization of the propulsion systems itself. Boreas is an active cooling system that we have developed and is manufactured via sponsorship with Graphite AM, designed for a Turniguy Aerodrive. It is an SLS-printed carbon rotor that is designed to channel air through a motor to reduce the temperature of the rotor and stator. As a result, the resistance of the system decreases, which leads to reduced power consumption.
Structure in Materials
Easy Composites Ltd is a leading supplier of advanced composite materials to individuals, businesses and educational institutions.
Their extensive selection of materials ranges from everyday composites supplies to hard-to-find advanced materials, all sourced from leading manufactures around the world. Additionally, their comprehensive selection of composites tools and equipment ensures that technologies such as vacuum bagging, resin infusion, pre-preg, CNC tooling and rapid prototyping are as accessible and achievable and possible.
They are providing Loughborough UAV with the materials and expertise necessary to meet the complex structural requirements of our design.