Wright State University

Smaller and Smarter: Designing Aircraft in Miniature

The Wright State Center of Excellence for Micro Air Vehicle (MAVs) is leading the next generation of research to develop tiny aircraft that will be capable of doing reconnaissance work on a global scale.

Patterned after the dragonfly, the new MAVs under development at Wright State are being designed to maneuver indoors and out, pinpoint targets, gather intelligence, and support such critical operations as disaster rescues and military missions.

The faculty and student investigators are drawn from mechanical and materials engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and the Boonshoft School of Medicine—Emergency Medicine at Wright State University. The Wright State team collaborates with the U.S. Air Force, businesses, and universities worldwide to develop MAV concepts and turn them into working prototypes that will eventually lead to full-scale manufacturing and deployment.

The research unique to Wright State is focused on making micro air vehicles that are:

  • Small and agile: The MAV concepts use flapping-wing technology based on insect flight, which allows greater agility at takeoff and landing, turning, hovering, and accelerating, with the ability to fly indoors and out, in tight spaces.
  • Smart and autonomous: Current MAVs are remotely piloted using onboard cameras and transmitters. The goal for the future is to create a MAV that can fly itself based on sensor technology.
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Last updated: Wed. May-26-10, 15:47
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