Automated design and fabrication of micro-air vehicles

K. Amadori, D. Lundstro, P. Krus (Linkoping University)

A methodology for an automated design and fabrication of micro-air vehicles (MAVs) is presented. A design optimization framework has been developed that interfaces several software systems to generate MAVs to optimally fulfill specific mission requirements. By means of a multi-objective genetic algorithm, families of MAVs are tailored with respect to objectives such as weight and endurance.

The framework takes into consideration the airframe and aerodynamic design as well as the selection and positioning of internal components. The selection of propulsion system components is made from a database of off-the-shelf components.

In combination with a three-dimensional printer, physical prototypes can be quickly manufactured. A validation of the framework results from flight tests of a real MAV is also presented.

The framework was implemented in modeFRONTIER v.4.1. modeFRONTIER was adopted to manage all links between the numerous modules of the MAV design automation framework. It also provides optimization algorithms of various kinds.

The analysis presented above belongs to a broader work, gathered in the PhD thesis "On Aircraft Conceptual Design: A Framework for Knowledge Based Engineering and Design Optimization" by Kirstian Amadori.