Tornado Intercept UAV (TIV)

The TIV is a custom fiberglass composite platform designed to carry meteorological sensors to target severe weather phenomena, including but not limited to tornadoes. The aircraft features a diesel-powered turbine engine, an autopilot with long-range telemetry systems to handle full auto waypoint missions in remote areas, and First Person View (FPV) video transmission for pilot situational awareness. The turbine is recessed in the airframe, which prevents direct water and debris ingestion. There is a thrust vectoring unit to complement the two elevons for control, and the two winglets help with stability, especially when in a deep stall, which is important for landing. The TIV is launched from the roof of a moving SUV using a custom release mechanism and recovered via belly landing to allow for operation in remote areas.

The aircraft can currently take measurements of temperature, humidity, and pressure, which are all logged at ~1Hz with GPS coordinates and altitude, allowing the atmospheric data to be mapped for 3D analysis.

Wingspan: 44 inches (3.7 ft)
Max Gross Takeoff Weight: 18 lbs
Cruise Speed: 100 kts
Cruise Range: 35 miles
Max Speed: 140 kts
Max Speed Range: 25 miles
Stall Speed: 25 kts
Endurance: 14-25 minutes
Material: fiberglass with foam core for the skin, carbon fiber spar caps, plywood structural bulkheads