Sydney University Unmanned Aircraft Research
At Sydney University, the research for UAV, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, has yielded potential results toward the development of such vehicles capable of performing autonomously. The university’s Aeronautical Engineering Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle Research is currently the country’s largest and most active group of robotic aircraft researchers and developers. This team is mainly composed of 10 academics and research students.
Among the projects that this research is currently undertaking are the following: the development of the RAPID Prototype Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, the Autonomous Remote Sensing, the Decentralized Navigation and Control of Autonomous Flight Vehicles, Synchronized Localization and Map Building for Autonomous Flight Vehicles, Wind-Tunnel and Flight Based Experimental research in aerodynamics and flight performance, and the Modeling of engine/propeller performance and aircraft stability.
The university’s Unmanned Aircraft Research has also undertaken High Fidelity Aircraft Model Development used for replication manipulation system validation, the Trajectory optimization and autonomous guidance for UAV, Sensor synthesis for state estimation employing several redundant sensors, utilizing the GPS for aircraft attitude determination, The Systems Identification Techniques and Neural Networks for defect recognition and reconfiguration, Autonomous safety recovery and landing of unmanned aerial vehicles, and Robust nonlinear high performance maneuver tracking for autonomous aircraft, among others.
The aircrafts that the Australian based team are currently developing includes the Ariel, a research aircraft; Brumpy, an aircraft specifically designed for rugged terrain; TWing Tail Sitter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, and the Bidule mini Air Vehicle also known as mAV.
These aircraft were created not only to give flight research platforms in support of the department’s numerous research activities, but to be utilized to further improve skills in airframe design and fabrication, flight instrumentation, flight manipulation systems, and operational aspects of the unmanned vehicles. These form part of the foundation of the technology being displayed for many features of Aeronautical Engineering, and now being utilized to explore commercial applications for these UAVs.