Journal of Aircraft and Spacecraft Technology

Conceptual Design, Analysis and Construction of a Fixed-Wing Unmanned Arial Vehicle for Oil and Gas Pipeline Surveillance

Aliyu Bhar Kisabo, Charles Attah Osheku and Sholiyi Olusegun Samuel

DOI : 10.3844/jastsp.2017.18.29

Journal of Aircraft and Spacecraft Technology

Volume 1, Issue 1

Pages 18-29


Oil and Gas Pipelines consists of pipes, compressors and pumps. These are frequently located in environments that are difficult to monitor and secure (e.g., creeks and remote areas). Attacks or damage to such installations can lead to enormous ecological impact and loss of revenue. Developing and implementing monitoring systems that can continuously assess the state and condition of oil and gas pipelines is very essential. Current solutions for monitoring such facilities are very manual and risky. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) offers great new alternative solutions. In this study, we present a conceptual design of a UAV with a battery powered propulsion system for such application. Here, we show by example how a mission statement can be translated into a physical aircraft from first principle. Notably, five (5) novel mathematical equations were formulated to aid and optimise the design process. These novel equations basically relate the take-off mass of the aircraft with the wingspan, chord length and fuselage length. With such equations, for a designed take-off mass, there exist several variant of the aircraft concept by varying wingspan, chord length and fuselage length of the UAV. In addition, we used thrust-to-weight ratio in a novel approach to ensure that the power available at the propeller will be sufficient for the mission. For this phase of the design, the basic objective among others is to attain lift-off at a very short take off distance. The method proposed in this study proved to be very effective after several successful flight tests.


© 2017 Aliyu Bhar Kisabo, Charles Attah Osheku and Sholiyi Olusegun Samuel. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.