By DE Editors
Micro Air Vehicles (MAV) are tiny, battery powered, remotely piloted flying vehicles that can be used for a variety of civilian and military applications to minimize human danger. Some potential applications include searching buildings or caves for terrorists, probing damaged nuclear power plants for radiation leaks, or searching collapsed mine shafts for survivors.
Wright State University formed a MAV Research Center as part of the College of Engineering and Computer Science under the direction of Dr. George Huang. The University received a grant from the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program for its MAV work.
Part of the MAV research and development effort includes using computation fluid dynamics (CFD) to evaluate MAV concepts and designs. Simulating MAV propulsion systems requires software that can model moving grids, which is one of the strengths of the Software Cradle SC/Tetra CFD product, according to the company.
WSU demonstrated a remotely controlled four-winged, sparrow-sized MAV with beating wings. The tiny machine weighs 10 grams, about the weight of two nickels.