Fully autonomous retrieval, turnaround, and launch for a long-endurance UAV with VTOL capability

Period of Performance: 07/16/2009 - 02/16/2010


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Aerovel Corporation
83 Oak Ridge Rd
White Salmon, WA 98672
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Aero/Astro, University of Washington
Dept of Aero/AstroBox 352400, University of WA
Seattle, WA 98195
Institution POC


We propose to develop techniques and equipment for fully automated retrieval, refueling/ recharging, and relaunch of a miniature VTOL UAV. Our proposed method would be suitable for use on a small platform such as a pickup truck, or a small boat in a choppy sea. It would allow the ground-handling cycle to be performed remotely with no manual intervention, and so enable extended missions through remote unattended sites. Phase I work would evaluate concepts with prototype hardware, and do aerodynamic testing and flight-control analysis. Phase II would then implement and demonstrate the selected concept.