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Micro Air Vehicles

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This paper is a presentation of a detailed technology design and review study on micro air vehicles (MAV). A research conducted on the development of Micro Aerial Vehicles indicates that for past few years, the design on MAV has been hampered by lack of knowledge of low physics related to small aircrafts that fly at low velocities. However, a number of trial and errors have been employed in many instances as design tools. This has led to costly and lengthy process of design. Nevertheless, absence of complete method of analysis and the way of computing expenses has made numerical methods based on approach of design optimization a desirable practical alternative. The complication of Micro Air Vehicles design emanates from a desire to be able to minimize the whole size of MAV (vehicle maximum dimension). This article describes a dissection of MAV as pertaining to their significance in the world; in the past, as well as the present world, the necessity of familiarizing or having primary and secondary information about MAVs.

Micro Air Vehicles


MAVs are unique air vehicles that are worth taking about in this new age. First, the entire design process of MAV is totally different from the conventional way of designing aircrafts. This is due to low airspeed, small sizes, and a distinct aerodynamic features relating to the way of propulsion source of power, control system, and flight stability. In other words, one can think of aerial robots whose dimensions measure up to six degree part of freedom machines whose movement can ensure deployment of important micro payload, specifically, to hazardous location or partake to engage in different kinds of missions. Actually, this article would also present a report based on a deep view of MAVs; the makeup of MAVs, the people who uses the types of MAVs available for use in different fields, specific uses of MAVs, jobs available with research and having knowledge on MAVs, common applications, and future expectations about the usage of Micro Air Vehicles.

Purpose of the report

Having a discussion on MAVs is of profound importance as far as the increase in the demand for unmanned air vehicles is concerned and still stands. Writing a report on this topic can be termed to relevant at such a time when the world continues to revolve technologically, and there is an increased curiosity and awareness among humans to dig deep and unearth mysteries that can make an impact and allow access to places and regions where man can not succumb overtime. The unimaginable desire to launch applications to be employed in military surveillance missions and also in missions involving rescue and search has prompted an elevated level of interest and investment in worthwhile vehicles designs, as well as miniaturized components thus shooting the standard and number of technological advances in this field.

It is worth taking note that the need to come to better terms with different fundamental aspects of those machines falling under the category of small vehicles spawned a surge in high standard research in the field of MAV. Amazingly, these types of aircrafts have been noted to possess a set of constraints that are considerable distinct in diverse ways when compared to the ones of traditional aircrafts, and in most cases, they are addressed expectedly through a multidisciplinary approach. Some of the considerations that have been combined in executing the research on MAV include; nano-structures lift mechanisms, non-linear control, low Reynolds aerodynamics, and flexible structures (Reeder, 2012).

Research and literal review

According to the United States DRPA, MVA is a semiautonomous airborne vehicle that measures maximally 15 cm in all the dimensions and the total weight of almost 4 ounces and has the ability to brining to fulfillment important military missions at a manageable cost (Burgart, Miller & Murphy, 2000). It is important to take note of a concept underlying the tiny size of this kind of airborne vehicle. Basically, the envisioned application surrounding it answers all. Based on the emphasis to ensure personnel are safe all time through the provision of unprecedented awareness of situations at the platform level, MAVs provided the best option aside alongside other developed assets of reconnaissance such as satellites, as well as UAVs used in high altitude areas. This is because MAV can be solely operated making it easy for a soldier in a field to have a platoon-level asset and also disseminate useful information to the required locations. In addition, it can be used in targeting, tagging, and for communication purposes. Therefore, all and sundry can come to a unanimous and a conclusive point that MAV is a very instrumental military weapon, and that is why, it can be referred to as reconnaissance.

This machine best applies to those interested or need to have and apply knowledge of aerodynamics. For instance, in 2010, Tamkang University in Taiwan came to realization of an autonomous way of controlling altitude of MVA flights measuring 20 cm and weighing 8grams with flap wings. From that time, labs such as Space and Flight Dynamics Lab came together with other researchers with the main aim of boosting development of MAVs.

Miniaturization of this machine is also of great significance. First, it gives room for fixing of micro sensors that reduce latency and enhances situational awareness at all time for a small unit or just a single soldier. The size enables it to be easily envisioned between the user and the main control system. Besides, miniaturization enables direct connectivity that makes it possible for users to carry it as it can trade effectively with other assets carried by the soldier such as ammunition and water (Hundley & Gritton, 1992). This also raises the concept of affordability since relatively small amount of resources is used in building it. In addition, this feature also provides MAVs with the unique ability to thrive and operate in environments that are constrained such as in urban canyons and inside buildings. Amazingly, it is even more interesting to find that because of their size, unlike the originally manned ones, they are able to bring to completion new missions that cannot be well executed with the existing systems. Some of the jobs that can be obtained in MAV research and production area include; designing aerodynamic machines, information technologies, especially, camera fixing, information and telecommunication engineering aircraft modeling, and aeronautical engineering.

Despite all these, there are a number of challenges that still try to outdo the success of using MAVs. The first one is putting all the components together (physical integration). This occurs due to the vehicle size, which brings about high functional complexity, for example; stuffing of subsystems and airframes is very difficult. Another challenger is an achievement of stable mechanism of a flight control. This is caused by large forces produced by laminar flow originating from flight environment, which are hard to predict. Other challenges that the in-charge technologist are still dealing with include; propulsion issues, communication problems, MAV payloads, and soldier proofing. Therefore, for effective functionality, MAV must possess the following characteristics; affordable, lightweight, shock protected expandable, high image resolution and rapid connectivity with other electronics (Michelson, 2008).


The following diagram represents a set of devices that constitute MAV;

MAV devices are very useful in urban operations by enabling surveillance of areas within the cover of the inner city and reconnaissance. Biochemical sensing is also an important application especially in mapping out the position and size of potentially hazardous clouds. Other relevant commercial applications include; forestry, aerial photography in real-estates, traffic monitoring, wild life surveys, inspection of power-lines, and rescue operations. Due to immense advancement in research in this field, what become eminent is the future possibilities of developing MAVs to perform even simplest missions such as providing escorts, monitoring deliveries, and in gathering intelligence locally (Chow, 1999).


In conclusion, a research on MAV has enabled me to learn and have a deep understanding in various principles of aero dynamics that enhance flight. This information of the uttermost necessity to me as it provides a base for thinking creatively and innovatively as far as air vehicles are concerned. It would remain factual that this is a demanding field of study, especially, with rocketing of space technologies. Therefore, it would be best for students in this field to join up their stupendous efforts with unflinching determination to turn the challenges facing MAV operations to become advantages in time scale testing and short fabrication, as well as in missions.

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