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 language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||2020 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ICUAS 2020|
|Publisher||Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - Sep 2020|
|Event||2020 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ICUAS 2020 - Athens, Greece|
Duration: Sep 1 2020 → Sep 4 2020
|Name||2020 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ICUAS 2020|
|Conference||2020 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, ICUAS 2020|
|Period||9/1/20 → 9/4/20|
Bibliographical noteFunding 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.