This paper looks at the trends in design procedures in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Rapid advances in technology are enabling more and more capability to be placed on smaller airframes which is spurring a large increase in the number of UAVs being deployed in the army. The military role of UAV is growing at unprecedented rates. The UAV is an acronym for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, which is an aircraft with no pilot on board. UAVs can be remote controlled aircraft (e.g. flown by a pilot at a ground control station) or can fly autonomously based on pre-programmed flight plans or more complex dynamic automation systems. A variety of design configurations are in use. The primary driving parameters in all UAVs is the need for maximizing available wing area and wing effectiveness, while minimizing the required storage volume. The major factors in determining the relative merit of the different concepts are the evaluation of structural viability, mechanical complexity and overall system survivability by G forces. This paper examines some of the design methodologies and hardware-in-the loop simulation environment to support and validate the UAV hardware and software development.

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