Author Information

Joseph GuntherFollow

Is this project an undergraduate, graduate, or faculty project?

Undergraduate

individual

Poster Session; 5-minute Oral Presentation

Authors' Class Standing

Joseph Gunther, Junior

Lead Presenter's Name

Joseph Gunther

Faculty Mentor Name

Hever Moncayo

Abstract

Fuel limitations are currently the largest obstacle for obtaining perpetual flight of all aircraft. Power beaming using a high-powered laser to an optimized Variable Multi-Junction (VMJ) cell array fixed to an electric aircraft is a possible solution. This research focused on the early stages of the practicality and design of an electric UAV powered by a remote power source and controlled with a pixhawk flight control system. The UAV in question, to remain feasible for low-budget testing, was assumed to have an operable range of 500 meters, with optimization of the power to lift ratio at the cost of maneuverability and ruggedness. This project consists of two stages, the first being mathematical proofs and the second being the design and coding of a centering array to be mounted to a drone which can be integrated with a pixhawk control system. With the most advanced technologies and generous error margins, perpetual flight to a low-power UAV is mathematically possible. The second stage drew designs for a targeting array and 3D printed mock-ups to be used in further expansions of the project.

Did this research project receive funding support (Spark or Ignite Grants) from the Office of Undergraduate Research?

Yes, Spark Grant

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Beamed Power Transmission to Low-Altitude UAV - Phase 1

Fuel limitations are currently the largest obstacle for obtaining perpetual flight of all aircraft. Power beaming using a high-powered laser to an optimized Variable Multi-Junction (VMJ) cell array fixed to an electric aircraft is a possible solution. This research focused on the early stages of the practicality and design of an electric UAV powered by a remote power source and controlled with a pixhawk flight control system. The UAV in question, to remain feasible for low-budget testing, was assumed to have an operable range of 500 meters, with optimization of the power to lift ratio at the cost of maneuverability and ruggedness. This project consists of two stages, the first being mathematical proofs and the second being the design and coding of a centering array to be mounted to a drone which can be integrated with a pixhawk control system. With the most advanced technologies and generous error margins, perpetual flight to a low-power UAV is mathematically possible. The second stage drew designs for a targeting array and 3D printed mock-ups to be used in further expansions of the project.

 

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