Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - SCU Access Only


Santa Clara: Santa Clara University, 2014.


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Mohammad A. Ayoubi


BRAVE (Broad Range Aerial Vehicle Explorer) is a small unmanned aerial vehicle designed to assist first responders in search and rescue. It is modeled off of the V-22 Bell Boeing Osprey. This design employs a tilt-rotor mechanism at the tip of each wing so that the vehicle may operate in helicopter mode, with rotors pointed up for vertical take-off or landing (VTOL), or alternatively in airplane mode, with rotors pointed forward for fast, long range flight. It carries a camera which provides live feed video to a display on the ground. In this report, the VTOL RC team provides background for the project, considers customer needs and defines system requirements, identifies environmental impact and ethical implications, and discusses each of the subsystems critical to the design. These subsystems, Aerospace and Propulsion, Structure, Electronics, and Controls and Dynamics, are each successfully designed and verified using computational software or physical testing where possible. Two prototypes were built, and a stable vertical takeoff with a preliminary prototype was achieved.