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Unmanned aerial vehicle comprising a triangular array of rotors

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Publication number
GB2455374A
Authority
GB
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
uav
rotors
airframe
rotor
preceding
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
GB0810886A
Other versions
GB2455374B (en )
GB0810886D0 (en )
Inventor
Stephen Dominic Prior
Tom Foran
Mehmet Ali Erbil
Siddharth Odedra
Mehmet Karamanoglu
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY HIGHER EDUCATION Corp
MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY HIGHER ED
Original Assignee
MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY HIGHER EDUCATION CORPORATION
MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY HIGHER ED
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B64AIRCRAFT; AVIATION; COSMONAUTICS
    • B64CAEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS
    • B64C27Aircraft kinds and components not otherwise provided for
    • B64C39/00Aircraft not otherwise provided for
    • B64C39/02Aircraft not otherwise provided for characterised by special use
    • B64C39/024Aircraft not otherwise provided for characterised by special use of the remote controlled vehicle type, i.e. RPV
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B64AIRCRAFT; AVIATION; COSMONAUTICS
    • B64CAEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS
    • B64C27Aircraft kinds and components not otherwise provided for
    • B64C27/00Rotorcraft; Rotors peculiar thereto
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B64AIRCRAFT; AVIATION; COSMONAUTICS
    • B64CAEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS
    • B64C27Aircraft kinds and components not otherwise provided for
    • B64C27/00Rotorcraft; Rotors peculiar thereto
    • B64C27/04Helicopters
    • B64C27/08Helicopters with two or more rotors
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B64AIRCRAFT; AVIATION; COSMONAUTICS
    • B64CAEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS
    • B64C27Aircraft kinds and components not otherwise provided for
    • B64C29/00Aircraft capable of landing or taking-off vertically
    • B64C29/0008Aircraft capable of landing or taking-off vertically having its flight directional axis horizontal when grounded
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B64AIRCRAFT; AVIATION; COSMONAUTICS
    • B64CAEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS
    • B64C2201Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor
    • B64C2201/00Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor
    • B64C2201/02Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor characterized by type of aircraft
    • B64C2201/027Flying platforms
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B64AIRCRAFT; AVIATION; COSMONAUTICS
    • B64CAEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS
    • B64C2201Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor
    • B64C2201/00Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor
    • B64C2201/04Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor characterised by type of power plant
    • B64C2201/042Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor characterised by type of power plant by electric motors; Electric power sources therefor, e.g. fuel cells, solar panels or batteries
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B64AIRCRAFT; AVIATION; COSMONAUTICS
    • B64CAEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS
    • B64C2201Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor
    • B64C2201/00Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor
    • B64C2201/10Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor characterised by the lift producing means
    • B64C2201/102Deployable wings, e.g. foldable or morphing wings
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B64AIRCRAFT; AVIATION; COSMONAUTICS
    • B64CAEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS
    • B64C2201Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor
    • B64C2201/00Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor
    • B64C2201/10Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor characterised by the lift producing means
    • B64C2201/108Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor characterised by the lift producing means using rotors, or propellers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B64AIRCRAFT; AVIATION; COSMONAUTICS
    • B64CAEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS
    • B64C2201Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor
    • B64C2201/00Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor
    • B64C2201/12Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor adapted for particular use
    • B64C2201/127Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor adapted for particular use for photography, or video recording, e.g. by using cameras
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B64AIRCRAFT; AVIATION; COSMONAUTICS
    • B64CAEROPLANES; HELICOPTERS
    • B64C2201Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor
    • B64C2201/00Unmanned aerial vehicles; Equipment therefor
    • B64C2201/20Methods for transport, or storage of unmanned aerial vehicles
    • B64C2201/203Methods for transport, or storage of unmanned aerial vehicles in rucksacks, or bags to be carried by persons

Abstract

A UAV comprises an airframe supporting a triangular array of tri-rotors. Each tri-rotor may comprise a pair of contra-rotating rotors 21,23 on the same axis. Each rotor 21,23 may have a dedicated motor 20,22 arranged such that in the event of a motor failure all motors on that level will be disengaged. The airframe may comprise three arms 10,11 with one pair of rotors 21,23 at the extremity of each, and the arms and rotors may be detachable for stowage. The UAV may also comprise a stowable antenna 26 and an undercarriage comprising three legs. The UAV may operate autonomously and carry a video camera 27 to transmit images to a guidance controller.

Description

COMPACT UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE

Field of Invention

The present invention relates to unmanned aerial vehicles, hereinafter called UAVs.

It is particularly concerned with such vehicles employed in surveillance operations when the vehicle is required to be relatively marioeuvrable.

Background to the Invention

UAVs are employed in a growing variety of contexts. Although perhaps their primary use has been in the fields of military security and policing, their use is growing in such fields as animal migration watching, land and crop surveying and resource or lost item searching and search and rescue operations In many of these contexts it can be very valuable to maximise the payload or endurance of a UAV and yet to do so with the most compact UAV possible.

The present invention provides a UAV which combines valuable payload/endurance parameters with compactness.

Statements of Invention

A UAV according to the present invention has an airframe supporting a fri-rotor triangular array.

According to an important feature of the invention each tn-rotor may comprise a pair of rotors in tandem, perhaps on substantially the same axis and arranged to contra-rotate. In this way lift may be maximised and dynamic problems reduced. Preferably each rotor has three blades. The layout of the triangular array may be that of an isosceles triangle, but for maximum manoeuvrability an equilateral triangle layout is preferred.

The airframe may comprise three arms with one of said pair of rotors at each extremity thereof. Accordingly therefore the array may be seen to comprise an upper rotor bank and a lower rotor bank.

The airframe is preferably formed from a material having a high strength to weight ratio. A material based on woven carbon fibre is accordingly a strong candidate.

It can be particularly valuable from the point of view of stowage for the airframe arms to be detachable one from the other or each from a central body portion. Likewise the rotors are advantageously detachable for stowage, and preferably detachably mountable upon the central body portion. Moreover, where the UAV incorporates antennae these too are preferably arranged to be stowable. The airframe may also incorporate an undercarriage in the form, for example of three legs, which also are preferably stowable.

It has been found possible to construct a UAV in accordance with the present invention which can lift a payload of up to 1kg for 15 minutes. Either of these parameters may be increased if the UAV flies on a wire bringing power from a battery not mounted thereon. The UAV may otherwise be controlled remotely by an operator, or even perform certain tasks, for example "nightwatchman tasks" autonomously. That is to say that it can be arranged for control in the directions up, down, forward, backward, pitch and yaw (as distinct from say a quadrilateral rotor system where roll control may also be required).

Where relatively continuous operation is required in a context where there is no mechanical link between an operator and the UAV, there may be a suite of interchangeable rechargeable batteries, with one battery or group thereof being on charge "on the ground" whilst another is flying.

Among the payloads which a UAV in accordance with the invention may carry are infra-red, thermal imaging and digital cameras, a video camera and a mini synthetic aperture radar (mini SAR). Any of these may be mounted on a gimballed base associated with a central portion of the airframe. Miniature camera devices may be mounted at the extremity of each arm. The UAV may also incorporate global positioning (GPS) apparatus.

A typical inventory of uses to which a tJAV in accordance with the invention may be put includes: a) Border interdiction. Patrol of borders by aerial platforms; b) Search and rescue. Looking for survivors from shipwrecks, aircraft accidents etc.; c) Wild fire suppression. UAVs equipped with infrared sensors can detect fire in forests and notify the fire brigade on time; d) Communications relay. High altitude long endurance UAVs can be used as satellites; e) Law enforcement: VTOL UAVs can take the role of police helicopters in a cost effective way; f) Disaster and emergency management. Aerial platforms with cameras can provide real time surveillance in hazardous situations such as earthquakes; g) Research. Scientific research of any nature (environmental, atmospheric, archaeological, pollution etc) can be carried out by UAVs equipped with the appropriate payloads; h) Industrial applications: Such applications can be crops; spraying, nuclear factory surveillance, surveillance of pipelines etc.: i) Wildlife observation.

There can be a concern about safety. That is, it may not be desirable for a UAV to drop out of the sky and perhaps cause damage to property or person. A UAV in accordance with the invention may incorporate a parachute or helium inflatable balloon to reduce the rate of descent in an emergency. However it is a preferred feature of the invention that each rotor has a discrete motor. In this way, with each rotor station comprising two rotors, the failure of one, for example at one station, may be arranged to cause all motors at that level to stop and the three remaining rotors to allow the UAV to make a controlled descent.

It has been found that a preferred embodiment of a UAV in accordance with the invention, constructed as above described, can be made with a maximum lateral dimension of the order of 70cm and a maximum deployed height of 30cm, using three bladed rotors of blade length 5 inches (12.7cm) can carry 1kg for up to 15 minutes in an autonomous context. Typically a digital camera weighs 144 grams and a thermal imaging camera of the order of 153 grams.

The use of electric motors and rotors makes for a device substantially silent in operation.

Description of the Drawings

An embodiment of the invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which: Figure 1 is a schematic isometric sketch of a compact UAV; Figure 2 is front elevation sketch of the compact UAV; and Figure 3 is a plan view of the compact UAV.

Description of Preferred Embodiments

Shewn in the drawing is a UAV having an airframe comprising three double arms, an upper set Wa, lOb, lOc, and a lower set ha, hib, lic, a battery box 12, a guidance dome 13 and a payload carrier 14. The three arms are in equilateral triangle array.

The payload carrier 14 is gimballed so that it can pan and tilt its payload with respect to the airframe. Servos 15 control the pan and tilt of the payload carrier.

Mounted on the end of each upper arm is an outrunner motor 20 having an associated upward facing rotor 21. Mounted below the end of each lower arm is an outrunner motor 22 with an associated rotor 23. Mounted on the airframe arms inboard of the motors 20, 22 are electronic speed controllers 24.

The rotors 21, 23 are three bladed and formed of a plastics material.

The battery box 12 contains a rechargeable battenes for powering the motors.

Within the guidance dome 13 is a MicropiIoF flight control device 25 while stowable antennae 26 are mounted on the dome 13.

At the extremity of the lower arm ha, deemed the lead arm, is a video camera 27.

The camera 27 is powered by a battery 28 mounted on an arm 11.

This UAV embodiment is shewn with a video camera 30 and a thermal camera 31 carried on the payload carrier. These cameras are readily interchangeable with others, for example digital still and infra red cameras.

Ground support legs (not shewn) branch out from each lower arm 11.

In use with the required equipment mounted on the payload carrier a ground controller (not shewn) provides signals via one of the antennae 26 to the flight control device 25. By this means the flight of the UAV is controlled, with the speed controllers 24 controlling the speed of the motors 20, 22. This affects the attitude, rise and descent, forward motion and turn of the UAV. The rotors 21, 23 contra-rotate with respect one to the other.

During the operation the cameras 27, 30 and 31 may be operating and transmitting pictures back to the ground controller and/or elsewhere, via one of the antennae 26.

In the event of failure of one of the motor/rotor combinations the MicropilotTM is arranged to switch off the other two motors at that level. This enables the UAV to descend at a controlled rate.

In a particular example of this embodiment of the invention, the airframe arms and battery box are formed from woven carbon fibre sheet 2mm thick. The motors 20, 22 are Axi 2217/20 brushless motors each weighing 71.2 grams. The rotors 21, 23 are GWT0 plastics rotors with three 5" (12.7cm) long blades. The rotors each weigh 15.9 grams. The rotors are mounted to the motors via Axi Prop saver devices 32.

The electronic speed controllers 24 are YGE-18i ESC devices. Suitable rechargeable batteries are preferably lithium based, eg lithium-iron, Li-poly or Li-metal. Of these, Li-poly batteries are preferred because they are easy to manufacture in small sizes and have a very low self-discharge rate. At typical example therefore is a MaxxAmp 14.8v @ 8000mAh Li-poly 4S2P battery. The camera control batteries may be commercial 9v batteries each weighing 47.8 grams.

RTM

The servos 15 are Hitec I-ib-77BB servo devices.

The camera 27 is a Black Widow Ky 141/90/PAL 480 line camera. Typical other cameras for mounting in the payload carrier may be a Photon thermal camera, a 310 line colour CMOS camera, and a PentaV0 6MP digital camera.

This embodiment of the invention can have a maximum breadth dimension of the order of 70 cm and a depth of less than 30 cm with the legs and antennae stowed. It can carry a payload of up to 1 kg for 15 minutes, with payload and endurance being somewhat Interchangeable.

The rotors 21, 23 can be readily detached, and the legs and antennae folded outwards for stowage purposes.

In alternative embodiments the airframe may have stays or struts between the upper and lower arms 10 and Ii. These arms, or one or two sets thereof may be detachable for stowage purposes. The undercarriage may have the form of a ring or horseshoe and could be retractable for stowage. COMPACT UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE

Field of Invention

The present invention relates to unmanned aerial vehicles, hereinafter called UAVs.

It is particularly concerned with such vehicles employed in surveillance operations when the vehicle is required to be relatively marioeuvrable.

Background to the Invention

UAVs are employed in a growing variety of contexts. Although perhaps their primary use has been in the fields of military security and policing, their use is growing in such fields as animal migration watching, land and crop surveying and resource or lost item searching and search and rescue operations In many of these contexts it can be very valuable to maximise the payload or endurance of a UAV and yet to do so with the most compact UAV possible.

The present invention provides a UAV which combines valuable payload/endurance parameters with compactness.

Statements of Invention

A UAV according to the present invention has an airframe supporting a fri-rotor triangular array.

According to an important feature of the invention each tn-rotor may comprise a pair of rotors in tandem, perhaps on substantially the same axis and arranged to contra-rotate. In this way lift may be maximised and dynamic problems reduced. Preferably each rotor has three blades. The layout of the triangular array may be that of an isosceles triangle, but for maximum manoeuvrability an equilateral triangle layout is preferred.

The airframe may comprise three arms with one of said pair of rotors at each extremity thereof. Accordingly therefore the array may be seen to comprise an upper rotor bank and a lower rotor bank.

The airframe is preferably formed from a material having a high strength to weight ratio. A material based on woven carbon fibre is accordingly a strong candidate.

It can be particularly valuable from the point of view of stowage for the airframe arms to be detachable one from the other or each from a central body portion. Likewise the rotors are advantageously detachable for stowage, and preferably detachably mountable upon the central body portion. Moreover, where the UAV incorporates antennae these too are preferably arranged to be stowable. The airframe may also incorporate an undercarriage in the form, for example of three legs, which also are preferably stowable.

It has been found possible to construct a UAV in accordance with the present invention which can lift a payload of up to 1kg for 15 minutes. Either of these parameters may be increased if the UAV flies on a wire bringing power from a battery not mounted thereon. The UAV may otherwise be controlled remotely by an operator, or even perform certain tasks, for example "nightwatchman tasks" autonomously. That is to say that it can be arranged for control in the directions up, down, forward, backward, pitch and yaw (as distinct from say a quadrilateral rotor system where roll control may also be required).

Where relatively continuous operation is required in a context where there is no mechanical link between an operator and the UAV, there may be a suite of interchangeable rechargeable batteries, with one battery or group thereof being on charge "on the ground" whilst another is flying.

Among the payloads which a UAV in accordance with the invention may carry are infra-red, thermal imaging and digital cameras, a video camera and a mini synthetic aperture radar (mini SAR). Any of these may be mounted on a gimballed base associated with a central portion of the airframe. Miniature camera devices may be mounted at the extremity of each arm. The UAV may also incorporate global positioning (GPS) apparatus.

A typical inventory of uses to which a tJAV in accordance with the invention may be put includes: a) Border interdiction. Patrol of borders by aerial platforms; b) Search and rescue. Looking for survivors from shipwrecks, aircraft accidents etc.; c) Wild fire suppression. UAVs equipped with infrared sensors can detect fire in forests and notify the fire brigade on time; d) Communications relay. High altitude long endurance UAVs can be used as satellites; e) Law enforcement: VTOL UAVs can take the role of police helicopters in a cost effective way; f) Disaster and emergency management. Aerial platforms with cameras can provide real time surveillance in hazardous situations such as earthquakes; g) Research. Scientific research of any nature (environmental, atmospheric, archaeological, pollution etc) can be carried out by UAVs equipped with the appropriate payloads; h) Industrial applications: Such applications can be crops; spraying, nuclear factory surveillance, surveillance of pipelines etc.: i) Wildlife observation.

There can be a concern about safety. That is, it may not be desirable for a UAV to drop out of the sky and perhaps cause damage to property or person. A UAV in accordance with the invention may incorporate a parachute or helium inflatable balloon to reduce the rate of descent in an emergency. However it is a preferred feature of the invention that each rotor has a discrete motor. In this way, with each rotor station comprising two rotors, the failure of one, for example at one station, may be arranged to cause all motors at that level to stop and the three remaining rotors to allow the UAV to make a controlled descent.

It has been found that a preferred embodiment of a UAV in accordance with the invention, constructed as above described, can be made with a maximum lateral dimension of the order of 70cm and a maximum deployed height of 30cm, using three bladed rotors of blade length 5 inches (12.7cm) can carry 1kg for up to 15 minutes in an autonomous context. Typically a digital camera weighs 144 grams and a thermal imaging camera of the order of 153 grams.

The use of electric motors and rotors makes for a device substantially silent in operation.

Description of the Drawings

An embodiment of the invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which: Figure 1 is a schematic isometric sketch of a compact UAV; Figure 2 is front elevation sketch of the compact UAV; and Figure 3 is a plan view of the compact UAV.

Description of Preferred Embodiments

Shewn in the drawing is a UAV having an airframe comprising three double arms, an upper set Wa, lOb, lOc, and a lower set ha, hib, lic, a battery box 12, a guidance dome 13 and a payload carrier 14. The three arms are in equilateral triangle array.

The payload carrier 14 is gimballed so that it can pan and tilt its payload with respect to the airframe. Servos 15 control the pan and tilt of the payload carrier.

Mounted on the end of each upper arm is an outrunner motor 20 having an associated upward facing rotor 21. Mounted below the end of each lower arm is an outrunner motor 22 with an associated rotor 23. Mounted on the airframe arms inboard of the motors 20, 22 are electronic speed controllers 24.

The rotors 21, 23 are three bladed and formed of a plastics material.

The battery box 12 contains a rechargeable battenes for powering the motors.

Within the guidance dome 13 is a MicropiIoF flight control device 25 while stowable antennae 26 are mounted on the dome 13.

At the extremity of the lower arm ha, deemed the lead arm, is a video camera 27.

The camera 27 is powered by a battery 28 mounted on an arm 11.

This UAV embodiment is shewn with a video camera 30 and a thermal camera 31 carried on the payload carrier. These cameras are readily interchangeable with others, for example digital still and infra red cameras.

Ground support legs (not shewn) branch out from each lower arm 11.

In use with the required equipment mounted on the payload carrier a ground controller (not shewn) provides signals via one of the antennae 26 to the flight control device 25. By this means the flight of the UAV is controlled, with the speed controllers 24 controlling the speed of the motors 20, 22. This affects the attitude, rise and descent, forward motion and turn of the UAV. The rotors 21, 23 contra-rotate with respect one to the other.

During the operation the cameras 27, 30 and 31 may be operating and transmitting pictures back to the ground controller and/or elsewhere, via one of the antennae 26.

In the event of failure of one of the motor/rotor combinations the MicropilotTM is arranged to switch off the other two motors at that level. This enables the UAV to descend at a controlled rate.

In a particular example of this embodiment of the invention, the airframe arms and battery box are formed from woven carbon fibre sheet 2mm thick. The motors 20, 22 are Axi 2217/20 brushless motors each weighing 71.2 grams. The rotors 21, 23 are GWT0 plastics rotors with three 5" (12.7cm) long blades. The rotors each weigh 15.9 grams. The rotors are mounted to the motors via Axi Prop saver devices 32.

The electronic speed controllers 24 are YGE-18i ESC devices. Suitable rechargeable batteries are preferably lithium based, eg lithium-iron, Li-poly or Li-metal. Of these, Li-poly batteries are preferred because they are easy to manufacture in small sizes and have a very low self-discharge rate. At typical example therefore is a MaxxAmp 14.8v @ 8000mAh Li-poly 4S2P battery. The camera control batteries may be commercial 9v batteries each weighing 47.8 grams.

RTM

The servos 15 are Hitec I-ib-77BB servo devices.

The camera 27 is a Black Widow Ky 141/90/PAL 480 line camera. Typical other cameras for mounting in the payload carrier may be a Photon thermal camera, a 310 line colour CMOS camera, and a PentaV0 6MP digital camera.

This embodiment of the invention can have a maximum breadth dimension of the order of 70 cm and a depth of less than 30 cm with the legs and antennae stowed. It can carry a payload of up to 1 kg for 15 minutes, with payload and endurance being somewhat Interchangeable.

The rotors 21, 23 can be readily detached, and the legs and antennae folded outwards for stowage purposes.

In alternative embodiments the airframe may have stays or struts between the upper and lower arms 10 and Ii. These arms, or one or two sets thereof may be detachable for stowage purposes. The undercarriage may have the form of a ring or horseshoe and could be retractable for stowage.

Claims (19)

  1. Claims 1. A UAV having an airframe supporting a tn-rotor triangular array.
  2. 2. A UAV as claimed in claim I and wherein each tn-rotor comprises a pair of rotors on the same axis and arranged to contra-rotate.
  3. 3. A UAV as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2 and having an individual motor for each rotor.
  4. 4. A UAV as claimed in claim 3 when dependent on claim 2 and arranged in the event of motor failure at one rotor level to switch off the other motors at that level.
  5. 5. A UAV as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4 and wherein each rotor has three blades.
  6. 6. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the rotor blade length is of the order of 5 inches (12.7cm).
  7. 7. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the layout of the triangular array is that of an equilateral triangle.
  8. 8. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the airframe comprises three arms with one of said pair of rotors at each extremity thereof.
  9. 9. A UAV as claimed in claim 8 and wherein one or more of said arms is detachable or foldable for stowage purposes.
  10. 10. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the airframe is formed from a carbon fibre reinforced material.
  11. 11. A UAV as claimed in claim 10 and wherein the material is based upon woven carbon fibre 12. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the rotors are readily detachable for stowage purposes.
    13. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and having a stowable antenna.
    14. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and having an undercarriage.
    15. A UAV as claimed in claim 14 and wherein the undercarriage comprises three legs.
    16. A UAV as claimed in claim 14 or claim 15 and wherein the undercarriage is stowable.
    17. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and which is autonomous.
    18. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and arranged to carry a video camera, to transmit images to a controller and to be guided as to trajectory and
    field of view.
    19. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and having a maximum breadth less than 70cm.
    20. A UAV substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
    Amendments to the claims have been filed as follows Claims 1. A UAV having an airframe supporting a tn-rotor triangular array and wherein each tn-rotor comprises a pair of rotors on the same axis and arranged to contra-rotate.
    2. A UAV as claimed in claim 1 and having an individual motor for each rotor.
    3. A UAV as claimed in claim 2 and arranged in the event of motor failure at one rotor level to switch off the other motors at that level.
    4. A UAV as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3 and wherein each rotor has three blades.
    5. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the rotor blade length is of the order of 5 inches (12.7cm).
    6. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the layout of the triangular array is that of an equilateral triangle.
    7. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the airframe comprises three arms with one of said pair of rotors at each extremity thereof.
    8. A UAV as claimed in claim 7 and wherein one or more of said arms is detachable or foldable for stowage purposes.
    9. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the airframe is formed from a carbon fibre reinforced material.
    10. A UAV as claimed in claim 9 and wherein the material is based upon woven carbon fibre 11. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the rotors are readily detachable for stowage purposes.
  12. 12 A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and having a stowable antenna.
    13. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and having an undercarriage.
    14. A UAV as claimed in claim 13 and wherein the undercarriage comprises three legs.
    15. A UAV as claimed in claim 13 or claim 14 and wherein the undercarriage is stowable.
    16. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and which is autonomous.
    17. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and arranged to carry a : video camera, to transmit images to a controller and to be guided as to trajectory and S...
    field of view. IS..
    20 18. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and having a maximum S..
    breadth less than 70cm. S.
    19. A UAV substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
    IC
    Claims 1. A UAV having an airframe supporting a tn-rotor triangular array.
    2. A UAV as claimed in claim I and wherein each tn-rotor comprises a pair of rotors on the same axis and arranged to contra-rotate.
    3. A UAV as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2 and having an individual motor for each rotor.
    4. A UAV as claimed in claim 3 when dependent on claim 2 and arranged in the event of motor failure at one rotor level to switch off the other motors at that level.
    5. A UAV as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4 and wherein each rotor has three blades.
    6. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the rotor blade length is of the order of 5 inches (12.7cm).
    7. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the layout of the triangular array is that of an equilateral triangle.
    8. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the airframe comprises three arms with one of said pair of rotors at each extremity thereof.
    9. A UAV as claimed in claim 8 and wherein one or more of said arms is detachable or foldable for stowage purposes.
    10. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the airframe is formed from a carbon fibre reinforced material.
    11. A UAV as claimed in claim 10 and wherein the material is based upon woven carbon fibre 12. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the rotors are readily detachable for stowage purposes.
  13. 13. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and having a stowable antenna.
  14. 14. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and having an undercarriage.
  15. 15. A UAV as claimed in claim 14 and wherein the undercarriage comprises three legs.
  16. 16. A UAV as claimed in claim 14 or claim 15 and wherein the undercarriage is stowable.
  17. 17. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and which is autonomous.
  18. 18. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and arranged to carry a video camera, to transmit images to a controller and to be guided as to trajectory and
    field of view.
  19. 19. A UAV substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
    IC
    19. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and having a maximum breadth less than 70cm.
    20. A UAV substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
    Amendments to the claims have been filed as follows Claims 1. A UAV having an airframe supporting a tn-rotor triangular array and wherein each tn-rotor comprises a pair of rotors on the same axis and arranged to contra-rotate.
    2. A UAV as claimed in claim 1 and having an individual motor for each rotor.
    3. A UAV as claimed in claim 2 and arranged in the event of motor failure at one rotor level to switch off the other motors at that level.
    4. A UAV as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3 and wherein each rotor has three blades.
    5. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the rotor blade length is of the order of 5 inches (12.7cm).
    6. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the layout of the triangular array is that of an equilateral triangle.
    7. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the airframe comprises three arms with one of said pair of rotors at each extremity thereof.
    8. A UAV as claimed in claim 7 and wherein one or more of said arms is detachable or foldable for stowage purposes.
    9. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the airframe is formed from a carbon fibre reinforced material.
    10. A UAV as claimed in claim 9 and wherein the material is based upon woven carbon fibre 11. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and wherein the rotors are readily detachable for stowage purposes.
    12 A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and having a stowable antenna.
    13. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and having an undercarriage.
    14. A UAV as claimed in claim 13 and wherein the undercarriage comprises three legs.
    15. A UAV as claimed in claim 13 or claim 14 and wherein the undercarriage is stowable.
    16. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and which is autonomous.
    17. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and arranged to carry a : video camera, to transmit images to a controller and to be guided as to trajectory and S...
    field of view. IS..
    20 18. A UAV as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and having a maximum S..
    breadth less than 70cm. S.

Cited By (21)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
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EP2327626A1 (en) * 2009-11-27 2011-06-01 Universita' Degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope Air pollutants monitoring by a continuous process in real time and at different altitudes
FR2995875A1 (en) * 2012-09-21 2014-03-28 A U E V Advanced Unmanned Electric Vehicle Frame for e.g. quadri-rotor type drone, has set of arms, rigidification unit fixed on face of frame, and absorption unit arranged for absorption of shocks is fixed on face of frame opposed to face receiving rigidification unit
US8973861B2 (en) * 2012-10-29 2015-03-10 Shenzhen Hubsan Technology Co., Ltd. Tetra-propeller aircraft
US20140117149A1 (en) * 2012-10-29 2014-05-01 Shenzhen Hubsan Technology Co., Ltd Tetra-Propeller Aircraft
CN103350752A (en) * 2012-11-09 2013-10-16 深圳市哈博森科技有限公司 Four-rotor aircraft
DE102012022925A1 (en) * 2012-11-24 2014-05-28 Michael Wissmann Device for generating text messages in airspace by skywriter during aerial advertising process, has aerosol generator provided in unmanned rotary-wing aircraft
ES2524383A1 (en) * 2013-06-04 2014-12-05 Miguel Ángel ÁLVAREZ ALARIO aerial platform controlled radio frequency
EP2818406A1 (en) * 2013-06-24 2014-12-31 The Boeing Company Modular vehicle lift system
US9457899B2 (en) 2013-06-24 2016-10-04 The Boeing Company Modular vehicle lift system
DE102014103847A1 (en) * 2014-03-20 2015-09-24 Jochen Schmidt Multicopter, boom for a Multicopter and method for manufacturing the boom
WO2015169279A1 (en) * 2014-05-06 2015-11-12 Fachhochschule Westküste Hochschule für Wirtschaft & Technik Multifunctional boom with at least one drive, in particular for use in a multicopter system
WO2016025341A1 (en) * 2014-08-11 2016-02-18 Amazon Technologies, Inc. Propeller safety for automated aerial vehicles
WO2016038204A1 (en) * 2014-09-12 2016-03-17 Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg Decentralized redundant architecture for an unmanned aircraft for simplified integration of sensor systems
CN104386248A (en) * 2014-11-03 2015-03-04 成都好飞机器人科技有限公司 Double-layer separation type unmanned aerial vehicle
WO2016124761A1 (en) * 2015-02-06 2016-08-11 Universite Technologie De Compiegne - Utc Aerial robot and method for catapulting an aerial robot
FR3032425A1 (en) * 2015-02-06 2016-08-12 Univ Tech De Compiegne - Utc aerial robot and catapult METHOD FOR aerial robot
US9501061B2 (en) 2015-02-24 2016-11-22 Qualcomm Incorporated Near-flight testing maneuvers for autonomous aircraft
WO2016144421A1 (en) * 2015-03-10 2016-09-15 Qualcomm Incorporated Adjustable weight distribution for multi-rotor helicopter drone
US9469394B2 (en) 2015-03-10 2016-10-18 Qualcomm Incorporated Adjustable weight distribution for drone
CN104776141A (en) * 2015-04-08 2015-07-15 深圳市大疆创新科技有限公司 Damping bracket and flight equipment applying same
WO2016193884A1 (en) * 2015-05-29 2016-12-08 Verity Studios Ag An aerial vehicle

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GB2455374B (en) 2009-11-04 grant
GB0810886D0 (en) 2008-07-23 grant

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