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ATI's Unmanned Air Vehicle Design course

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Technical Training Short On Site Course Quote

This three-day short course covers the design of unmanned air vehicles. The course will cover the history and classes of UAVs, requirement definition, command and control concepts and UAV aircraft design. It provides first-hand understanding of the entire design and development process for unmanned vehicles from their involvement in the DARPA MAV development and as the lead for the Armyís Brigade Combat Team Modernization Class I, Increment Two vehicle. The instructor is currently working towards first flight and was a key contributor to requirements development, conceptual design, design optimization.

UAVís history will be covered and the lessons learned and the breadth of the design space. UAVís are and will be key components of aviation. From the nano sized flapping vehicles to the extreme duration of high altitude surveillance vehicles.

Each student will be provided a hard copy of the presentations and the text book, Fundamentals of Aircraft and Airship Design: Volume I -Aircraft Design, by Leland M. Nicolai.

Glossary of Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles Definitions and Terms

ATI has several courses on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) including

Unmanned Aircraft System Fundamentals Unmanned Aircraft Systems Overview

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Overview

Unmanned Aircraft Systems - Sensing, Payloads & Products


Mr. Paul Gelhausen is Founder, Managing Member and Chief Technical Officer of an aerospace company. He holds a B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan and Stanford University, respectively. Mr. Gelhausen provides technical managerial leadership in design, simulation, and testing of advanced ducted fan vehicle configurations as well as providing technical and managerial leadership in the definition of future vehicle requirements to satisfy mission scenarios, functional decomposition, concept development and detailed systems and technology analysis. Prior to founding the company Mr. Gelhausen was a former NASA Langley Engineer where he led the configuration design, aerodynamic design and aerodynamic validation elements of the multi-center Mars Airplane Program including requirements generation, technical specifications, analysis planning, test planning and overall management.

What You Will Learn

  • UAV design is not a simple task that can be fully learned in a short time, however, the scope of the problem can be outlined
  • The design process is similar to any aircraft design, but there are unique tasks involved in replacing the intelligence of the pilot.
  • The long history of UAVís and the breadth of the design space will be covered
  • Lessons learned from experience and by observation will be shared in the course.
  • We will cover the tools and techniques that are used to make design decisions and modifications.
  • Representative practical examples of UAV will be presented.

Course Outline

  1. Introduction
    • Brief history of UAVís "How did toys become useful?"
    • Classes of UAVís
      • Fixed Wing
      • Rotary Wing / VTOL
      • Micro
  2. UAV Requirements Definition
    • Operational Concepts
    • Mission definition
    • Requirements Flow-down
  3. Command and Control Concepts
    • Ground based operation
    • Autonomous operation
    • Systems and subsystems definition
    • System Safety and Reliability Concerns
  4. UAV Aircraft Design
    • Configuration
    • Aerodynamics
    • Propulsion and propulsion system integration concepts
    • Structures
    • Performance
    • Flight Controls and Handling Qualities.
      • Operational influences on control strategies
      • Vehicle analysis & how it affects control strategies
      • Make sure you have enough sensor bandwidth
      • Making sure you have enough control surfaces / power / bandwidth (choosing an actuator)
      • Gust rejection and trajectory performance driven by:
  5. Case study Examples
    • Case study 1: Large turbine design
    • Case study 2: Small piston engine design
    • Cost Analysis
      • Development
      • Manufacturing
      • Operations
      • Disposal
    • Design Tools
    • Design Optimization


    Tuition for this three-day course is $1995 per person at one of our scheduled public courses. Onsite pricing is available. Please call us at 410-956-8805 or send an email to