CUAir

Cornell University Unmanned Air Systems

Mechanical 2016-2018 | Mechanical Lead 2018-2019 | Ground Systems 2019-2020

About the Team

CUAir is a interdisciplinary project team on Cornell's campus that designs, builds, and tests a fully autonomous fixed wing aircraft.

The team competes in AUVSI SUAS every June in Maryland.

Orion | 2018-2019

Mechanical Lead

Reintroduced a fully composite design to improve durability

Twin motors increase system redundancy to protect against propulsion failures

Introduction of the Unmanned Ground Vehicle, designed to be dropped in flight to a precise target location, and autonomously drive to a secondary location


Composite Design and Manufacturing

Completed a Composites Design of Experiments in 2018 to explore different layup methods, material choices, and constraints of geometries

Gained experience with infusion and wet painted layups using both carbon fiber and fiber glass

Knowledgeable in designing for composites, mold design, and composite post-processing

In 2019, cut fuselage shell weight by over 35% through material reevaluation

Reduced overall fabrication time through mold redesign and redesigned post-processing processes

Theia I & II| 2016-2018

Mechanical Member

Modular design utilizing rapid manufacturing practices to minimize production time

Theia II built on Theia I, with redesigned air delivery and propulsion systems

Highest ranked UAV in the U.S. (2017) and highest ranked fixed wing UAV in the world (2018) at AUVSI SUAS



Airdrop | 2017-2018

Designed to deliver an 8 oz. water bottle to drop location during flight, with the objective of dispersing on impact at the drop target

Goal of improving the reliability through increased simplicity, and improving access and ease of repairs

Linear actuator used as support and release mechanism, reducing down to singular failure point

Adjustable enclosure allows bottle to remain under C.G. as fuselage position shifts with respect to wings

Consistent deployment time increased target accuracy by an average of 35 ft.

Electronics Bay

Holds 7 flight critical electronic payloads in fuselage

Easy to access all electronics and connection points without removing from aircraft

Layout optimized available space to provide maximum clearance for connections, wiring, and heat transfer around electronics

Decreased weight from previous electronics bay by 48%