18 April 2008 Investigation of an energy harvesting small unmanned air vehicle
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The addition of energy harvesting is investigated to determine the benefits of its integration into a small unmanned air vehicle (UAV). Specifically, solar and piezoelectric energy harvesting techniques were selected and their basic functions analyzed. The initial investigation involved using a fundamental law of thermodynamics, entropy generation, to analyze the small UAV with and without energy harvesting. A notional mission was developed for the comparison that involved the aircraft performing a reconnaissance mission. The analysis showed that the UAV with energy harvesting generated less entropy. However, the UAV without energy harvesting outperformed the other UAV in total flight time at the target. The analysis further looked at future energy harvesting technologies and their effect on the energy harvesting UAV to conduct the mission. The results of the mission using the advanced solar technology showed that the effectiveness of the energy harvesting vehicle would increase. Designs for integrating energy harvesting into the small UAV system were also developed and tests were conducted to show how the energy harvesting designs would perform. It was demonstrated that the addition of the solar and piezoelectric devices would supply usable power for charging batteries and sensors and that it would be advantageous to implement them into a small UAV.
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Kyle C. Magoteaux, Kyle C. Magoteaux, Brian Sanders, Brian Sanders, Henry A. Sodano, Henry A. Sodano, } "Investigation of an energy harvesting small unmanned air vehicle", Proc. SPIE 6928, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2008, 692823 (18 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.775851; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.775851

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