Innovation: Demountable Unmanned Aircraft
By Alejandro Salas
Portability, an innovative takeoff, and measurements of more than a meter in length and 1.70 meters in width are among the features of the unmanned aircraft whose patent won the 2015 UANL Invention Award.
Dr. Patricia Carmen Zambrano Robledo and Arturo Paz Perez, a student of the Master in Aeronautical Engineering, joined their expertise as members of the Center for Research and Innovation in Aeronautical Engineering to develop the pilot project and subsequently create their “unmanned aircraft.”
“Nowadays, many advances have been made globally in terms of unmanned aircraft. However, this aircraft has distinctive features that set it apart from the others on the market,” stated Zambrano Robledo.
The unusual design of the aircraft is the result of two major innovations: its vertical takeoff, identical to a helicopter takeoff, and its demountable properties for easy portability.
“It all began when Arturo Paz approached us with an interest in designing the unmanned aircraft, which was a very unique idea,” commented the university doctor, “and since the School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering seeks to support students with innovative ideas, the project was able to be developed and yield great outcome.”
Over a year ago, when the creation of the aircraft initiated, Zambrano Robledo and Paz Perez started to design its features, perform numerous tests, and develop the respective models.
The project, which is currently patent pending, is made of materials trending in aircraft design around the world
“It is all made of carbon fiber, which makes it exceptionally light, allowing a great capacity to carry instruments such as sensors and GPS, at the same time it grants a much longer flight range”. Said the member of the National System of Researchers level 1.
Aviation fuel is used to power this unmanned aircraft and it is expected to fly for 10 hours continuously, this is a great advantage over some drones that are now available on the market whose battery only lasts for 12 or 15 flight minutes.
“We are working in the duration of the flight in order to reach 10 hours. Obviously is something that we are improving to grant this aircraft of autonomy and guarantee the flight’s continuity over a longer period”.
Thanks to these features, this is a great achievement for the Maximum Academic Institution in the State.
Paz Pérez, a native of Mexico City, said he felt very honored after having obtained the UANL Invention Award 2015, despite his young age. This has inspired him to look forward in this project.
“It’s very rewarding to create something of world class, particularly because facilities were generously provided for the CIIIA to perform the necessary tests.” Said the student of 25 years old.
The Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon had a direct influence on the creation of the aircraft, said Zambrano Robledo. The UANL provides the facilities to create the world-class designs, and support the student’s development.
The institution provides scholarships for the most talented students with great ideas and future. The UANL grants scholarships and in this way, creates spaces to imagine, design, and create anything that the students want to develop”. He said