Development of an Efficient Solar Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle with an Onboard Solar Tracker Development of an Efficient Solar Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle with an Onboard Solar Tracker
The final UAV had a wingspan of 3.2 meters, a length of 2.6 meters, and weighed 4.1 kilograms. Its solar panel provided a maximum power output of 37.7 watts. The predicted system performance, airframe drag, and system power requirements were validated with a battery powered flight test. The UAVâ€™s analytical model predicted the drag to be 41% lower than the actual drag found from flight testing. Full system functionality was verified with a solar powered flight test. The results and analysis of the system tests are presented in this thesis. The net energy increase from the solar tracking UAV over a conventional solar powered UAV for the duration of a day is dependent on season and geographical location. The solar tracking UAV that was developed was found to have a maximum net energy gain of 34.5% over a conventional solar powered version of the UAV. The minimum net energy gain of the solar tracking UAV was found to be 0.8%.
School:Brigham Young University
School Location:USA - Utah
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:solar power cells tracker panel design photovoltaic pv unmanned aerial vehicle uav efficient airframe steady level flight powered
Date of Publication:03/06/2007