University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota








mini-MUTT (Multi-Utility Technology Testbed)

The mini-MUTT is an open-source, low-cost, modular flight research infrastructure which is a scaled version of the X-56A MUTT vehicle at NASA AFRC. The 3 meter wingspan vehicle features a modular design consisting of a common center body and interchangeable wings to support a wide array of research projects. The UMN UAV Research Lab’s open-source research infrastructure, including flight software, flexible aircraft flight simulation, and research flight computer is modular and used on the mini MUTT to support research. The mini MUTT was fabricated in house using wet layup and vacuum bag composite techniques. The production process has been documented on the UAV Lab FLICKR Page.

Ground Vibration Testing
Ground Vibration Tests (GVT) were conducted to obtain the natural frequencies and mode shapes of the aircraft. The aircraft was suspended by a very flexible spring which simulates the free condition closely. The excitation of the aircraft was provided in the form of a swept-sine signal using an electrodynamic shaker. This vibration was transmitted to the aircraft from the shaker using a stinger to reduce any possibility of transmitting a side-force to the aircraft which is undesirable. A force transducer was mounted between the stinger and the aircraft to measure the transmitted force. micro-accelerometers were mounted at different points on the aircraft to measure the acceleration. A total of 34 points were chosen to obtain more detailed mode shapes. The transfer functions between the force and the acceleration were obtained using a signal analyser. The time domain data for both force and acceleration are also measured for post-processing.
  1. Ground Vibration Test of the BFF vehicle (Shaker, Time Domain Data), May 2014.
  2. Ground Vibration Test of the BFF vehicle (Shaker, Frequency Domain Data), March 2014.
  3. Ground Vibration Test of the BFF vehicle (Impact Hammer, Frequency Domain Data), August 2013.

Flight Testing
Several successful flight tests have been conducted with the mini-MUTT vehicle with a set of rigid wings. The flight data from these tests is stored at the UMN Digital Conservancy.
  1. Collection of all Flight Test Data.