Conceptual Design, Engineering Modeling, and Experimental Validation of Air Sampling System for Chemical Sensor Insertion Into the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's (ARL) Silent Operating Aerial Reconnaissance (SOAR) Program

Report No. ARL-TR-3105
Authors: Michael L. Nair
Date/Pages: February 2004; 46 pages
Abstract: The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is interested in using a concept unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as a chemical weapons detection platform. This report details a preliminary effort to determine whether the UAV is capable of sustaining the needed air flow into a chemical weapons detector to ensure functionality. For this study, it was decided that a minimum volumetric flow rate of 1.4 liters/minute is required to satisfy the minimum flow requirement. Basic fluid mechanic equations are used to select the incompressible model for air flow, and then ADINA (automatic dynamic incremental nonlinear analysis) is used to create finite element analysis approximations of the flow problem. Based on the results of the computer analysis, it was decided that the best concept for acquiring the air flow is to use a small blower with an intake and exhaust orifice in the bottom of the UAV. A prototype device has been built and tested through the estimated flight profile of the UAV. It was found that this simple device leads to volumetric flow rates approximately 10 times higher than the minimum required for chemical weapons detection. Based on these results, it is possible to use this UAV as a chemical weapons detector with the induced air flow concept.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: February 1, 2004