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ATS-3 Unmanned Air Vehicle thread

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posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 01:44 PM
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ATS-3 Unmanned Air Vehicle

Please submit your design proposals below. Closure for submissions 12th March 2006 after which time the winner will be decided by public vote.

Outline specification requirements:

Type: Unmanned air vehicle for tactical surveillance
Weapons: None. Potential for weaponization a plus but not required
Endurance: 6hrs+
Altitude: 15,000ft +
Loiter speed: slower the better
Transit speed (max): faster the better
Maximum weight (unarmed): 1,200lb
Maximum wing span: 10m
Unit cost: No more than $2m per unit

THE VOTE WILL BE SPLIT! – the coolest submission, and the optimum submission.

Get drafting those ideas!




posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 03:14 PM
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Ok, someone has to go first...

Here's a configuration I've been pondering for a while:


Provisional data:
Wingspan: 6m (typical of a medium altitude long endurance UAV)
Max speed: 110kts (again, typical, somewhat limited by the wing which is optimized for endurance)
Loiter speed: 60kts 9stall at 55kts, again typical)
Powerplant: Small piston engine buried in fuselage to reduce heat signature, driving a long-intake ducted fan buried in the upper rear fuselage.
Altitude: 15-18,000ft

Comments: A lifting body and angled tail give this configuration modest low-observable charactristics although it would not be properly stealthy. The buried powerplant is designed to give improved resistance to man-portable and short range IR guided missiles.

The landing gear would retract. sensor fit would be the typical real-time TV/FLIR etc devices.

control would be autominous with limited input from the controllers.



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 02:43 PM
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Cool to get such an overwhelming response....

Anyway, one potential way around the problem of high lift 'soaring' wings not being good for high speeds, is the variable span concept. This is lighter and simpler than the comparable "swing-wing" form of variable geometry and also has the advantage of keeping the same longitudenal centre of gravity throughout its operation.

I'm not sure if this would be covered by a notable variable-span wing patent.



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 05:36 PM
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Well, thats my idea covered, I should draw faster (and better!)



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 05:47 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
Well, thats my idea covered, I should draw faster (and better!)

Lol, don't be put off. Do you have any relevant drawings from your huge library of great planes that never flew?

To my knowledge the only "telescopic wing" design is on a seaplane designed by Gevers Aircraft - who hold a patent to stop others using the idea... www.soton.ac.uk... fascinating reading if you're into aero innovation stuff.



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 12:34 PM
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To Boost things up a bit in this contest...

ATS-Dragonfly

U(C)AV

Wingspan: (upper) 8m

Engine is ducted fan powered by turbocharged diesel engine allowing maximum endurance (fan is represented by the tube)






Sensor package contains: ECM pod, FLIR/TV, Laser warning, radar warning, Possibility for A2G radar.

in UCAV mode it has 2 hardpoints for PGMs at sides of the fuselage in order to minimize their effects on sensors






Any comments and ideas are welcomed (even harsh critisism and lousy ideas
)



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 01:58 PM
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Cool layout. I'm sure these's something workable in this configuration, although all the weight seems to be at the front whilst the lift is all at the back which would make it quite unstable.



posted on Mar, 10 2006 @ 10:55 AM
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This supercedes my previous proposals and is really just a refinement on the variable-span wing idea...

Planeman’s 1st proposal for the ATS-3
Vanguard UAV concept

Operating concept
A medium altitude medium endurance UAV for tactical surveillance and time-critical strike. The design trades endurance (relative to say the Predator or Herti) in order to allow significantly faster transit speeds allowing quicker reaction and compariatively more time over the target. This does not significantly hinder loiter speeds though because the design incorporates a variable-span telescopic wing; for take-off and slow speed flight the wing is fully extended to produce a typical surveillance UAV wing ideal for slow speed on-target loitering. For high speed transit the wing is retracted to produce a fully swept configuration.

For typical surveillance use the Vanguard is unarmed but for an armed patrol and/or time critical strike role the carriage of laser-guided missiles is provided for.

Provisional specification
Transit speed: 200kts (approximately twice that of the Predator)
Loiter speed: 60kts (typical of MALE UAVs)
Endurance (unarmed): 8hrs
Endurance (armed): 5hrs
--------------------------------------
Weapons (optional): 2x Denel Mokopa laser-guided missiles
Weapons range: 10km+
Weapons warhead: Tandem shaped-charge HEAT.



[edit on 10-3-2006 by planeman]



posted on Mar, 10 2006 @ 01:48 PM
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This is my vote... this model looks to have a good engine with good thurst, and it's shapes are also pretty nice if we think about "smoothness" in the air... The Vanguard seems to be a nice concept too, but I dissagree with using a propeller engine... Much slower and much louder... Totally against the concept of a UAV... Also the middle of the plane looks a bit "fat"... And isn't the Vanguard a UCAV...??



posted on Mar, 10 2006 @ 02:36 PM
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Originally posted by Figher Master FIN


This is my vote... this model looks to have a good engine with good thurst, and it's shapes are also pretty nice if we think about "smoothness" in the air... The Vanguard seems to be a nice concept too, but I dissagree with using a propeller engine... Much slower and much louder... Totally against the concept of a UAV... Also the middle of the plane looks a bit "fat"... And isn't the Vanguard a UCAV...??


Good points Fin. The above design also uses a piston engine like the Vanguard but it is driving a ducted fan. It's not a jet engine as may first appear. Piston engines are ususaly used in UAVs because they offer great fuel efficiency and are easy to maintain 'in the field'. They also (generally) have a much smaller heat signature and are not as noisy as you might think. The US Predator is a good example of this logic. Jet engines only really come into play if you want to go much faster, higher or heavier.

The Vanguard is an optionally weaponized UAV so yes, you could call it a UCAV, but it's not in the same vein as the J-CAS etc.

[edit on 10-3-2006 by planeman]



posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 05:11 PM
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A Evolution version of my design


I redesigned to center of gravity to a more stable design

Powerplant is a Pusher propellor driven by highly economical TDI engine... Ducted fan would be an alternative but could someone tell me the main difference in the performance of the two?



posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by northwolf
A Evolution version of my design


I redesigned to center of gravity to a more stable design

Powerplant is a Pusher propellor driven by highly economical TDI engine... Ducted fan would be an alternative but could someone tell me the main difference in the performance of the two?


For the same diameter, a properly designed ducted fan should provide more efficient thrust however a larger unducted propellor will provide more efficient thrust than a smaller ducted fan of the same total weight.

Ducted fans have some other benefits deriving from the duct that help with stealth. However, a small aircraft may not need it and might benefit from taking out the extra weight of the duct and using larger and more efficient propellors instead, particularly if its a slow moving aircraft.



[edit on 11-3-2006 by orca71]



posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 05:56 PM
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"Fanned" version made since it's probably more usable performance vice




posted on Mar, 12 2006 @ 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by planeman
ATS-3 Unmanned Air Vehicle

Please submit your design proposals below. Closure for submissions 12th March 2006 after which time the winner will be decided by public vote.

Outline specification requirements:

Type: Unmanned air vehicle for tactical surveillance
Weapons: None. Potential for weaponization a plus but not required
Endurance: 6hrs+
Altitude: 15,000ft +
Loiter speed: slower the better
Transit speed (max): faster the better
Maximum weight (unarmed): 1,200lb
Maximum wing span: 10m
Unit cost: No more than $2m per unit

THE VOTE WILL BE SPLIT! – the coolest submission, and the optimum submission.

Get drafting those ideas!


There are some interesting designs in here. Its nice
to see the creativity and imagination. If stealth is
a concern, Id recommend that, as much as possible,
intersections between surfaces, such as the
intersection between wings and body, be obtuse angles,
that is, greater than 90 degrees.

As far as major manufactures are concerned, one of the
most imaginative designs is this one from Boeing.

www.boeing.com...

And lets not forget whats probably the first stealth
aircraft with RAM technology. This one's a true
genius design.

www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org...

When designing an aircraft, the first step is always
setting performance goals. Assuming only subsonic
aircraft (allows a lighter structure and more
payload), I am surprised no one has suggested a flying
wing. Flying wings have enormous capacity, are
naturally strong and light, are naturally stealthy,
and have predictable flight characteristics. The only
drawback would be poor maneuverability, but at just
$2M/pop, the emphasis would be on capacity for
payload, sensors and computers rather than
dog-fighting. You could even avoid the complexity of
retracting landing gear and complex control surfaces
by using a powered parachute type setup for landings
and an underbody airbag. For take-off it could either
be shot in the air or tossed out of a large airplane.



posted on Mar, 12 2006 @ 02:38 PM
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flying wings are a it expensive/difficult to control due to unstability, right? Sailplane type wings give you exellent low speed and low consumbtion ability...

I'll try to scetch something from the stealthy flyingwing idea...


I was thinking about a stealthy blimb with rigid "balloon" and ducted fan for propulsion?



posted on Mar, 12 2006 @ 09:35 PM
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Originally posted by northwolf
flying wings are a it expensive/difficult to control due to unstability, right? Sailplane type wings give you exellent low speed and low consumbtion ability...

I'll try to scetch something from the stealthy flyingwing idea...


I was thinking about a stealthy blimb with rigid "balloon" and ducted fan for propulsion?



Flying wings actually fly pretty nicely as long as you dont push the limits. Landing isnt always easy to handle because of the enormous amount of air trapped underneath and high AOA is a no-no, otherwise they fly beautifully and can outcarry just about any other design while being quite efficient at all speeds.

A stealth blimp sounds like an interesting idea.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 09:37 AM
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A stealth LTA-UA(C)V

Propulsion is a ducted fan driven by TDI
Gas used for lift is Helium

Widith is 6m Lenght 14m

"Balloon" is consructed from High Strength Carbon Fibre and the is option to coat the upper parts with solar panels for extended daytime loiter.





posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 09:52 AM
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Very cool idea Northwolf.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 10:11 AM
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It fits the original demands and it is easy to weaponize... they payload is quite small around 500-600kg in addition to the fan and sensor pod + antenna array.

Any ideas on the shapes, anything to improve stealthiness?


Larger pics can be found at nwolf.busythumbs.com



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 06:47 PM
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Here's a provisional drawing of my second proposal, the "Terrawatcher".


although it looks fast, it is subsonic powered by a long-intake ducted fan with 3d thrust vectoring and TVC wing controls (instead of moving control surfaces). Together with a flat undersurface with only one joint (the sensor window), this makes it inherently stealthy from the underside without the need for RAM.

The really clever bit is that it inverts for landing - the undercarriage being stowed in the upper surface - this allows the underside to be made from a single sheet of aluminium. The joined upper wing adds rigidity keeping the lower wing flat.

The semi-stealthy concept is not designed to make it invisible to advanced radar systems, but to make it difficult for basic air defences such as SPAAGs to lock onto, thus increasing survivability.

It is compariatively fast with an estimated cruise speed of about 300kts (joined wing etc...) but with a high stall speed (guess 80kts) it wouldn't be the slowest loiter.



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