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Title: Photovoltaic electric power applied to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)

Abstract

Photovoltaic electric-powered flight is receiving a great deal of attention in the context of the United States` Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program. This paper addresses some of the enabling technical areas and their potential solutions. Of particular interest are the long-duration, high-altitude class of UAV`s whose mission it is to achieve altitudes between 60,000 and 100,000 feet, and to remain at those altitudes for prolonged periods performing various mapping and surveillance activities. Addressed herein are studies which reveal the need for extremely light-weight and efficient solar cells, high-efficiency electric motor-driven propeller modules, and power management and distribution control elements. Since the potential payloads vary dramatically in their power consumption and duty cycles, a typical load profile has been selected to provide commonality for the propulsion power comparisons. Since missions vary widely with respect to ground coverage requirements, from repeated orbiting over a localized target to long-distance routes over irregular terrain, the authors have also averaged the power requirements for on-board guidance and control power, as well as ground control and communication link utilization. In the context of the national technology reinvestment program, wherever possible they modeled components and materials which have been qualified for space and defense applications, yet aremore » compatible with civilian UAV activities. These include, but are not limited to, solar cell developments, electric storage technology for diurnal operation, local and ground communications, power management and distribution, and control servo design. And finally, the results of tests conducted by Wright Laboratory on ultralight, highly efficient MOCVD GaAs solar cells purchased from EPI Materials Ltd. (EML) of the UK are presented. These cells were also used for modeling the flight characteristics of UAV aircraft.« less

Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Rockwell International Corp., Canoga Park, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Cleveland, OH (United States). Lewis Research Center
OSTI Identifier:
36438
Report Number(s):
N-95-20502; NASA-CP-3278; E-9083; NAS-1.55:3278; CONF-9406314-
TRN: 9520530
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 13. space photovoltaic research and technology conference, Cleveland, OH (United States), 14-16 Jun 1994; Other Information: PBD: Sep 1994; Related Information: Is Part Of Proceedings of the 13th Space Photovoltaic Research and Technology Conference (SPRAT 13); PB: 421 p.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; AIRCRAFT; POWER SYSTEMS; ENERGY CONSUMPTION; REMOTE CONTROL; GALLIUM ARSENIDE SOLAR CELLS; PHOTOVOLTAIC POWER SUPPLIES; USES

Citation Formats

Geis, J., and Arnold, J.H. Photovoltaic electric power applied to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). United States: N. p., 1994. Web.
Geis, J., & Arnold, J.H. Photovoltaic electric power applied to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). United States.
Geis, J., and Arnold, J.H. Thu . "Photovoltaic electric power applied to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)". United States.
@article{osti_36438,
title = {Photovoltaic electric power applied to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)},
author = {Geis, J. and Arnold, J.H.},
abstractNote = {Photovoltaic electric-powered flight is receiving a great deal of attention in the context of the United States` Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program. This paper addresses some of the enabling technical areas and their potential solutions. Of particular interest are the long-duration, high-altitude class of UAV`s whose mission it is to achieve altitudes between 60,000 and 100,000 feet, and to remain at those altitudes for prolonged periods performing various mapping and surveillance activities. Addressed herein are studies which reveal the need for extremely light-weight and efficient solar cells, high-efficiency electric motor-driven propeller modules, and power management and distribution control elements. Since the potential payloads vary dramatically in their power consumption and duty cycles, a typical load profile has been selected to provide commonality for the propulsion power comparisons. Since missions vary widely with respect to ground coverage requirements, from repeated orbiting over a localized target to long-distance routes over irregular terrain, the authors have also averaged the power requirements for on-board guidance and control power, as well as ground control and communication link utilization. In the context of the national technology reinvestment program, wherever possible they modeled components and materials which have been qualified for space and defense applications, yet are compatible with civilian UAV activities. These include, but are not limited to, solar cell developments, electric storage technology for diurnal operation, local and ground communications, power management and distribution, and control servo design. And finally, the results of tests conducted by Wright Laboratory on ultralight, highly efficient MOCVD GaAs solar cells purchased from EPI Materials Ltd. (EML) of the UK are presented. These cells were also used for modeling the flight characteristics of UAV aircraft.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 1994},
month = {Thu Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 1994}
}

Conference:
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