Feasibility Study of a Smart Submunition: Deployment From a Conventional Weapon

Report No. ARL-CR-0475
Authors: Norman M. Werely and Darryl J. Pines
Date/Pages: June 2001; 41 pages
Abstract: This report details the smart autonomous rotorcraft submunition (SMARS) designed for deployment from a conventional munition. SMARS was developed in response to requirements defined in an initial meeting with Mr. Michael Hollis of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, April 18,2000. The primary goal of this initial design was to develop a rotorcraft that could be housed inside a conventional munition and carry a payload of 1.36 kg for a period of 20 minutes. The vehicle must be capable of scannmg an area equivalent to 5 square kilometers. The proposed design in this report satisfies these requirements. The final design concept consists of a coaxial rotorcraft with a 0.6096-m (2-foot) rotor diameter weighing 6 kg. The rotors are rigid in flight; the swashplate was eliminated to reduce complexity. However, the blades are able to fold at the root in order to meet packaging requirements. A small-scale prototype called "miniature coaxial rotorcraft" (MICOR) was developed and flight tested to show the feasibility of the concept and validate the yaw and altitude control systems. Scaling laws were developed to ensure that the characteristics of MICOR could be applied to SMARS. In addition, a deployment feasibility study was performed. A simple small-scale rotorcraft was manufactured, which was launched and deployed by a high-powered model rocket to demonstrate the feasibility of the SMARS concept.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: June 1, 2001