A Miniature Internal Combustion Engine for Micro Air Vehicle Propulsion and Power
Small Business Information
45 Manning Rd., Billerica, MA, 01821
AbstractMicro Aerial Vehicle (¿AVs) will open up a wide range of new missions for the US Armed Forces, but also present a new set of technical challenges. The power and propulsion system will have a significant impact on the ultimate capabilities and range of missions of ¿AVs. While advanced battery technology can provide good propulsion performance for ¿AVs, miniature internal combustion engines can offer several times higher energy density for ¿AV flight, thus greatly expanding the scope of ¿AV missions. The proposed program addresses the ¿AV power and propulsion challenge by demonstrating the feasibility of using a miniature internal combustion (IC) engine for this application. A miniature engine will be designed and manufactured, using as a starting point the design and test results of an existing oscillation piston/alternator engine developed at MIT. This design will be refined and advanced, focusing especially on the fuel/combustion/control design aspects. The newly designed engine will be tested and its performance and operating characteristics will be evaluated. In addition, a study of critical system integration issues will be performed. The anticipated results of the Phase I program will be the demonstration of the feasibility of using a miniature IC engine for ¿AV propulsion and the determination of the important operating characteristics of the engine.
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