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Although initially unmanned aerial vehicles were accepted only very slowly by the military, in the 1990’s they brought a real revolution in military operations. Presently they are considered as a standard tool in military thinking. Cross fertilization between defence forces and industry has paved the way to civil applications of UAVs. Being aware of this evolution, in collaboration with the RTO (NATO Research and Technology Organization,) VKI has organized in 1999 and 2003 two VKI-RTO Lecture Series on Unmanned Air Vehicles. Now UAVs have reached a high level of reliability, it is time to think of civil applications of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). This new denomination makes it clear that a UAS is more than only the flying component. The current Lecture Series proceedings include therefore contributions on all aspects dealing with the design, manufacturing, control and operating Unmanned Aerial Systems and its sensors.



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Although initially unmanned aerial vehicles were accepted only very slowly by the military, in the 1990’s they brought a real revolution in military operations. Presently they are considered as a standard tool in military thinking. Cross fertilization between defence forces and industry has paved the way to civil applications of UAVs. Being aware of this evolution, in collaboration with the RTO (NATO Research and Technology Organization,) VKI has organized in 1999 and 2003 two VKI-RTO Lecture Series on Unmanned Air Vehicles. Now UAVs have reached a high level of reliability, it is time to think of civil applications of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). This new denomination makes it clear that a UAS is more than only the flying component. The current Lecture Series proceedings include therefore contributions on all aspects dealing with the design, manufacturing, control and operating Unmanned Aerial Systems and its sensors.

The proceedings start with a general overview of UAS: different categories of such systems, their performance characteristics and limitations. This is followed by a description of a solar powered UAS flying at very high altitude and operating at low Reynolds number. The role of micro unmanned air vehicles in future military missions is also considered. Propulsion systems are discussed, including novel technologies such fuel cells and solar power. Characteristics and performance of mini and micro UAS are reviewed, followed by sessions on flight control systems integration and their modelling, including avionics and ground control station. Concepts, design and applications for different cases of single and multiple rotors, fixed or flapping wings configurations, including numerical and experimental aspects unsteady flows, are described. Optical flight sensors are also discussed. Legal aspects of certification and operation of UAS in segregated and non-segregated airspace are discussed, considering constraints associated with integration of manned and unmanned aircraft The Lecture Series was illustrated by live experiments and demonstrations in the audience, not reproduced here, and by an example based on the development of an operational UAS.

These Lecture Series proceedings on Recent developments in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, including UAV and MAV) held at the von Karman Institute from April 4 to 8 and was edited by R. Decuypere & M. Carbonaro in 2011

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