Design and optimization of an encased drone for underground mining applications

Javad Shahmoradi, Joseph Martinez-Ponce, Richard Cross, Micaela Olivas, Alexander Malburg, Pedram Roghanchi, Mostafa Hassanalian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


To date, the drone technology have been used for many applications in the mining industry. Currently, on surface, the drone technology is being used for surveying, geotechnical monitoring, and safety inspection, to name a few. However, the underground mines still cannot use the drone properly due to many challenges like confined space, GPS-denied environment, various air density, dynamic environment, and equipment. To address these challenges, this paper proposes an encased multi-rotor drone that is protected in a cage and can hover in monitoring hard to reach areas which makes it more controllable. In the first step, a multirotor drone is designed with the capabilities to carry a cage. The cage is designed by a combination of pentagon and triangle holes for extending the sensor vision. The designed connection joints of the cage simulated by the finite element method and the result have been used to improve connection joints and cage stability. The design of the connection ring of the cage and drone is tested in the lab and improved after the drop test results. Finally, the flight simulation of the drone is done for various air density and payload. The results show that the drone performance increase by increasing the air density and the drone can fly in different air density of underground mine. Also, the result shows that the drone can carry up to 450 grams payload or an extra sensor for monitoring underground spaces.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2021 Forum
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2021
EventAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jan 11 2021Jan 15 2021

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2021 Forum


ConferenceAIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition, AIAA SciTech Forum 2021
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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