Design and Development of Low-cost Multi-function UAV Suitable for Production and Operation in Low Resource Environments
Standridge, Zachary Dakotah
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A new flying wing design has been developed at the Unmanned Systems Lab (USL) at Virginia Tech to serve delivery and remote sensing applications in the developing world. The fully autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), named EcoSoar, was designed with the goal of creating a business opportunity for local entrepreneurs in low-resource communities. The system was developed in such a way that local fabrication, operation, and maintenance of the aircraft are all possible. In order to present a competitive financial model for sustained drone services, EcoSoar is made with reliable low-cost materials and electronics. This paper lays out the rapid prototyping and flight experiment efforts that went into polishing the design, test results from an EcoSoar centered drone workshop in Kasungu, Malawi, and finally a range optimization study with flight test validation.
- Masters Theses