HELIPLAT®: A High Altitude Very-long Endurance Solar Powered Platform For Border Patrol And Forest Fire Detection
Free (open access)
G. Romeo, G. Frulla & E. Cestino
Research is being carried out, aimed at the design of a Very-Long Endurance Solar Powered Autonomous Aircraft (VESPAA) and the manufacture of a solar powered prototype. It could play the role of a pseudo satellite, with the advantage of being closer to the ground, more flexible and at a cost much less than a real satellite. An integrated multi-sensor interoperable system based on the use of remote means of surveillance should be used to manage who and what enters the European homeland in order to prevent the admission of terrorists and the instruments of terror through borders, coastline and harbours. UAVs are less expensive than other manned aircraft used for border surveillance drastically reducing service costs and tedious work. By UAV based fire remote sensing tools, highest performances should be available and it should be possible to detect a flame length of the order of a few square meters from installation on the VESPAA stratospheric platform of proper IR or LIDAR sensors A first configuration of HELIPLAT® was worked out, as a result of the preliminary design study by using the most advanced tools (wing span 73m). A scaled size prototype (wing span 24 m, length 7 m) was built in order to show the technological feasibility. Static tests on the whole scaled-size prototype have been performed in our laboratory, finding a very good correlation with the numerical analysis. Design, payload sensors, aerodynamic and structural analysis and testing shall be reported. Keywords: sea border surveillance, fire prevention, unmanned air vehicles, solar-powered airplane, aircraft design, composite structures FEM analysis.
sea border surveillance, fire prevention, unmanned air vehicles, solar-powered airplane, aircraft design, composite structures FEM analysis.