Theoretical and experimental study of micro air vehicle powered by RF signal at 10 GHz
Jenn, David C.
Knorr, Jeffrey B.
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The concept of using electromagnetic energy in the form of microwaves for transferring power from one point to another through free space is very old. However, the idea for powering micro air vehicles using microwaves is less than a decade old. This thesis presents a theoretical and experimental study of powering a micro air vehicle, using electromagnetic energy at the frequency of 10 GHz. Two micro air vehicle prototypes were designed and built, and various experiments conducted in order to specify the power requirements of such a vehicle. The vehicle weighted 9-15 grams and its maximum dimension was six inches. The rectifier antenna (rectenna) is a major component in a microwave power transmission process. A quality factor used for rectenna characterization is the conversion efficiency from microwave power to dc power. A key component in any rectenna design is the Schottky barrier diode which is used to rectify the microwave energy to dc energy. A small rectenna array was manufactured using sixteen identical elements. Each element consisted of a circular patch antenna, a rectifying diode, and input and output low pass filters. The circuit was tested and the results showed a 10.3% conversion efficiency of the individual rectenna element, and 8.2% conversion efficiency for the total circuit.
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