Application of Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide Photovoltaic Cells to Extend the Endurance and Capabilities of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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In this thesis, we investigate the advantages of modifying current military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles UAV with available thin-film photovoltaic PV cells to increase their endurance, andor capabilities. The approach taken was to explore available off-the-shelf flexible solar technology and to integrate it in a proof-of-concept model for testing and analysis. A physically similar commercially available battery powered plane was used to demonstrate the materials and methods by which the RQ-11B Raven Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle SUAV could be modified. This research extends academic and private pursuit of solar flight to near-term improvement of military SUAV. Besides increasing on-station time of reconnaissance assets, this research also displays the additional advantage of enabling systems on the ground to self-charge. This will enable tactical units to operate further afield, untethered from conventional power sources. Beyond the proof-of-concept, findings are extended to other potential military uses, and greater improvement through new or modified UAV design.
- Pilotless Aircraft