Design and experiments for a transformable solar-UAV

Ruben D'Sa, Travis Henderson, Devon Jenson, Michael Calvert, Thaine Heller, Bobby Schulz, Jack Kilian, Nikolaos P Papanikolopoulos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


Aerial robotic platforms are an increasingly sought-after solution for a variety of sensing, monitoring, and transportation challenges. However, as invaluable as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been for these applications, fixed-wing and multi-rotor systems each have individual limitations. Fixed-wing UAVs are generally capable of high-altitude surveillance and long flight times, while quad-rotors are most effective when used for their maneuverability and close-quarters surveying. This paper improves upon the prototypes discussed in [1] by creating a series of three next-generation prototypes to isolate the aspects of solar powered fixed-wing flight, quad-rotor flight, and transformation modes of the SUAV:Q platform. Improvements to the transformation mechanism, airframe design, variable pitch propulsion system, and custom-designed power electronics are presented along with validation of the designs through empirical testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationICRA 2017 - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781509046331
StatePublished - Jul 21 2017
Event2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2017 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: May 29 2017Jun 3 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
ISSN (Print)1050-4729


Other2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through grants #CNS-0934327, #CNS-1439728, #IIS-1427014, #OISE-1551059, #CNS-1531330, and #CNS-1544887. Ruben DSa was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship No. 00039202.


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