Left to Right Back Row: Andrew Scherping, Miguel Sanchez, Kyle McKinney, Dillan Lein, Joe Cairo, Spencer Nord, Jeremy Rutledge, Ted Pernula, Derrek Brock, Nels Benson Front Row: Cole Drenth, Alex Winter, Spencer Eaton, Ethan Witt, Alex Scott, Josh Neumann, David Eddy, Carter Lomicka

Project Advisor: Dr. Bella Kim
Project Lead: Joseph Cairo
Contact Joe at jpcairo@iastate.edu

Project Overview

Cardinal Flight’s project will serve as a multi-mission UAV with the flexibility of multiple flight regimes. The aircraft will be capable of multiple missions through a detachable payload module, wing, and other apertures. The aircraft will have the capability to remove all apertures from the fuselage to change flight configurations quickly without massive design changes. This will allow for quick testing of the collision avoidance system we are creating with many different configurations.

Project Scope

Cardinal Flight plans to take an iterative approach to executing the group’s extended mission. The team will have the ultimate goal to create and implement a new aircraft every academic year. The work will be divided into two separate phases, a Design Phase where the team will complete all computer modeling and acquire the required components of the aircraft, and a Manufacturing and Flight Phase. These two phases should remain cyclic for Cardinal Flight in the coming years.
In addition to a yearly aircraft design, Cardinal Flight plans to be the responsible operator of each aircraft. The team shall be producing a complete analysis and operating procedure for each system on board and those required on the ground to properly operate the vehicle.
This semester, the group will primarily focus on designing the adaptable fuselage and our collision avoidance system. The adaptive fuselage will allow for simple configuration changes for the testing of the collision avoidance system. Ensuring the collision avoidance program works with any number of aircraft and configurations.

Mission Statement

Cardinal Flight pushes the capabilities of small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (sUAV) utilizing off the shelf components to create a low cost aerial vehicle with an unconventional configuration allowing for operation in multiple flight regimes.
Compass, Cardinal Flight’s first solar powered UAV
Arrow, Cardinal Flight’s 18-foot wingspan solar powered glider
Kestral X, Cardinal Flight’s latest aircraft design, based on NASA’s Greased Lightning