Inside Unmanned Systems

OCT-NOV 2018

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. 39 October/November 2018  unmanned systems inside BENEFITS One of the main benefits of a bladeless drone of course is safety, Garcia Carrillo said. He's been researching UAS for almost 10 years and knows if students aren't careful, they can eas- ily cut themselves on the sharp, exposed mo- tors. Bladeless drones would eliminate that risk to operators as well as to the environment around them. "This system is very easy to manipulate, even by non-expert users," he said. "The goal is to make drones safer for everyone. Hopefully, we'll be able to commercialize this platform." Garcia Carrillo also sees using the drone to actually push objects. If you tried that with a drone equipped with traditional propellers, you'd end up damaging the object or the drone, but that's not the case with this system. "If you want to push an object with a drone you have to add a manipulator and structure for doing the pushing, and this affects the dynamic of the system because you're adding something external," he said. "A bladeless pro- pulsion system can push with its own body. This is very interesting." But before these benefits can be realized Valdenegro, Garcia Carrillo and the rest of the team have to get the prototype f lying. While they're always finding new challenges to over- come, they hope to make that happen by the end of the year. They're also in the process of submitting a patent and forming an LLC. "We've figured out how to control the drone at four degrees of freedom," Valdenegro said. "Now we're trying to maximize thrust so it can f ly, and we can see how it will behave in aerospace." Photos courtesy of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Red Dot. BLADELESS SYSTEMS HO IT WORKS The concept solves three problems: air humming, exposed blades and wind. The bladeless system takes advantage of headwind, forcing it through internal ducts to generate a downward fl ow. THE BLADELESS DRONE CONCEPT Mexican designer Edgar Herrera's Bladeless Drone concept won a Red Dot Award in 2016. ANOTHER BLADELESS SYSTE THE TEAM AT TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-CORPUS CHRISTI isn't the fi rst to look into bladeless drone design. Edgar Herrera, a designer from Mexico, won a Red Dot Award for his concept, The Bladeless Drone, in 2016. According to Red Dot, the drone concept solves three main problems: air humming, exposed blades and wind. The drone takes advantage of headwind, forcing it through internal ducts to generate a downward fl ow. How does the concept drone work? It features four propellers and has a design based on shapes found in modern aircraft. The main propeller is in the center of the system and uses most of the ducted fl ow for take-o‡ and landing. The rest of the propellers determine the drone's direction, and four air intake valves extract moving air while the system is in fl ight. The air is accelerated through internal ducts and blades. This forces the air through small vents to generate downward fl ow, giving it lift. Luis Rodolfo Garcia Carrillo, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi " IN SENSE, THIS IS LIKE QUADCOPTER BUT WITH A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PROPULSION SYSTEM. THE BLADES ARE ALL INTERNAL." ENGINEERING. PRACTICE. POLICY. One of the main benefits of a bladeless drone of course is safety, Garcia Carrillo said. He's been researching UAS for almost 10 years and knows if students aren't careful, they can eas- ily cut themselves on the sharp, exposed mo- tors. Bladeless drones would eliminate that risk to operators as well as to the environment "This system is very easy to manipulate, BLADELESS SYSTEMS THE BLADELESS DRONE CONCEPT Mexican designer Edgar Herrera's Bladeless Drone

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