NRL Power and Energy Research for Group 1/2 UAS [video]
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Missions for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the Department of Defense may vary, but a common thread is an ever-increasing desire for more endurance. The US Naval Research Laboratory's Vehicle Research Section has conducted several UAS power and energy projects over the last decade. Solar-Soaring is a powered sailplane with integrated solar photovoltaics and autonomous soaring guidance algorithms, which has demonstrated dawn-to-dusk endurance. Ion Tiger is a fuel cell testbed, demonstrating +24hr endurance on gaseous hydrogen and +48hr on liquid hydrogen fuel. Hybrid Tiger is a multi-day endurance Group 2 UAS, enabled by the combination of solar photovoltaic arrays, a hydrogen fuel cell, and energy-aware guidance. This talk with give a background on these programs, describe their results, and suggest areas where future research may find even more endurance.
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