FURI | Spring 2022

Optimizing the Design of Structural Joints for Use in Composite UAV Structures

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The structural design of small UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) remains an under-explored area of research in the realm of aircraft design. While composite structures are becoming more prolific in industry, these technologies are often out of reach for use in smaller UAVs, which are subject to tighter budgetary and personnel constraints. As such, this FURI project seeks to develop a testing methodology that may be used to evaluate the viability of different composite jointing methods for use in a small UAV. Through this testing, the structural design of a UAV may be further optimized, allowing for the development of a more efficient aircraft in its manufacturing, operation, and sustainment.

Student researcher

Zachary Norris

Zachary Norris

Mechanical engineering

Hometown: Flagstaff, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Fall 2023