Energy Harvesting (EH) for Small Air Vehicles
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Technological advances in energy harvesting (EH) offer significant benefits to powering micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) by extending mission length and range. Currently, batteries limit the range and mission time of MAVs since the batteries contain a finite supply of energy. The proposed research is unique in that it considers the use of multiple EH sources along with both batteries and supercapacitors to store energy. Supercapacitors represent a highly reversible storage mechanism and can be used for energy buffering, primary storage for low-power subsystems, and parallel operation with batteries to reduce peak current demands on batteries. The proposed power supply functions are isolated from other vehicle subsystems by the use of a separate energy-efficient supervisory power control system so that the duty cycles of other subsystems can be optimized based on mission needs and availability of energy. Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) is accomplished by efficient computational techniques so that maximum efficiency is obtained from the EH sources. The supervisory control system also directs EH sources to either recharging functions or to direct application of power to other subsystems. The proposed Phase I project will investigate the use of solar, power line inductance, and mechanical vibration as EH sources.
Small Business Information at Submission:
DESIGN INTELLIGENCE, INC.
330 West Gray St., Suite 511 Norman, OK 73069
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