SUAV:Q - A hybrid approach to solar-powered flight

Ruben D'Sa, Devon Jenson, Nikolaos P Papanikolopoulos

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

9 Scopus citations


Selecting an aerial platform for an application typically requires compromise. A choice must be made between the flight time and long-range capabilities of a fixed-wing aircraft or the maneuverability and stationary characteristics of a multi-rotor platform. Recent developments of small-scale solar-powered UAVs have leveraged the advances in solar cell, energy storage, and propulsion system technology to reach extended flight times capable of all-day and multi-day flight This paper presents the concept of a small-scale hybrid unmanned aerial vehicle capable of augmenting the maneuverability of a quad-rotor with the energy collection and supply of a solar-powered fixed-wing aircraft. An investigation into the aircraft design, transforming mechanism, and energy management of the multi-state system is presented. A proof-of-concept prototype has been constructed to demonstrate the airframe operating in a quad-rotor configuration. Power electronics capable of simultaneous battery charging and power loading from a solar array have been validated. Additional work in optimization of the propulsion system and airframe needs to be completed to maximize the performance of the hybrid system..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2016
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781467380263
StatePublished - Jun 8 2016
Event2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2016 - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: May 16 2016May 21 2016

Publication series

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


Other2016 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through grants IIP-0934327, IIS- 1017344, IIP-1332133, IIS-1427014, IIP-1432957, OISE- 1551059, CNS-1514626, CNS-1531330, and CNS-1544887. Ruben D'Sa was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship No. 00039202.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 IEEE.


Dive into the research topics of 'SUAV:Q - A hybrid approach to solar-powered flight'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this