An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV): A Pilotless Aircraft

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A. History of UAVs

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is nothing but a pilotless aircraft. It is called Unmanned due to the absence of human presence onboard; Aerial Vehicle refers to the fact that it is an aerially operating vehicle. On the other hand, an Unmanned Aerial System is a UAV equipped with a communication system, a localization system, and a ground control station.

Long ago, people have taken interest in the prospect of having a UAV. The first incidence of a UAV was as early as 425 BC and was inspired by the flight of birds. The incidence VTOL UAVs was also during the same era, it was merely a stick with feathers, that when spun strongly enough, generates enough lift to go into vertical flight.

Towards the end of the 15th century, Da Vinci developed the ‘air gyroscope’. This is regarded by many as the ancestor of today’s helicopter. Its principle of operation was turning the shaft to generate a force strong enough which enables it to spin, and eventually fly.

In the 19th century, VTOL UAVs were the hottest and most focused on types of UAVs, that was mainly down to the lack of development of the steam engines which rendered the use of fixed wing UAVs as impractical.

It wasn’t until 1916 that the first modern UAV equipped with altitude control was developed and manufactured by the Americans Lawrence and Sperry. The UAV was stabilized via the use of a gyroscope. It was named the ‘Aviation Torpedo’ and had a flying capability of up to 30 miles.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the US developed the first proper Unmanned Vehicle Systems ‘UVS’, the Ryan 147 Series. These were used for reconnaissance missions in China and Vietnam.

From that point on, fixed wing UAVs oversaw a massive development, which eventually led to the manufactur...

... middle of paper ... The ailerons (flaps) on the wings of the UAV are used in order to control the roll of the UAV. The tail of the UAV is used to control both the pitch and yaw, it is noteworthy to mention that the yaw is only controlled up to some extent. [1, 2, 3] all discuss the dynamic modeling of fixed wing UAVs. elaborate more! Say what each one does

Rotary Wing UAVs

Rotary wing UAVs are also referred to as Vertical Take-Off Landing (VTOL) UAVs, due to their ability to take off and land vertically without the need for a runway or a catapult. The term rotary refers to the use of one or more rotors in the UAV. The most commonly used rotary UAVs in research and industry are the helicopter, and the quadrotor. Recently there has been an increase in focus on hexarotors and octorotors. They are desirable in applications requiring hovering capability and high maneuverability.
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