Design and Fabrication of a Nomadic Solar-Powered Quad-Rotor

Travis Henderson, Devon Jenson, Ruben D'Sa, Jack Kilian, Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos

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

3 Scopus citations


This paper explores the capability of autonomous solar power charging on a quadrotor to effectively increase the vehicle's range without bound. The recent advancements and accessibility of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), particularly hover-capable rotorcraft, have captured the world's attention. As a result, rotorcraft UAVs are performing tasks of increasing sophistication and difficulty. Though recent advancements in battery technology and electric motor efficiency have enabled great strides in platform utility, hovering UAVs are still severely limited in their usefulness due to their short flight time. This aspect of rotorcraft makes their deployment dependent upon regular human intervention to replenish energy. However, the addition of passive energy collection has the potential to relax both the flight time constraint and the dependence of rotorcraft on direct human intervention for replenishing energy reserves. This paper demonstrates the addition of solar power collection to a prototype of the Solar UAV Quad (SUAV-Q) at the University of Minnesota and shows significant potential for performing long-term autonomous missions without the intervention of any third party.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2020 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ICUAS 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781728142777
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Event2020 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ICUAS 2020 - Athens, Greece
Duration: Sep 1 2020Sep 4 2020

Publication series

Name2020 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ICUAS 2020


Conference2020 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ICUAS 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
VI. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through grants #CNS-1439728, #IIS-1427014, #CNS-1531330, #CNS-1544887, and #CNS-1939033. USDA/NIFA has also supported this work through grant 2020-67021-30755. Ruben D’Sa was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship No. 00039202.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 IEEE.


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