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Old Oct 01, 2012, 02:13 AM
rmteo is offline
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High Endurance UAV, motive/power subsystem??


Working on a high endurance UAV for surveillance applications. The rf-link/control/vision/navigation subsystems are non-issues. Looking for ideas for a motive/power subsystem to meet the following primary operational requirements:

Range: up to 100km.
Ceiling: 3000m ASL.
User Payload: 3kg.
Loitering capability: >8 hours.
AUW: <45kg.

Due to the need for ease of launch (and recovery) a multi-rotor configuration is envisaged although other configurations can be considered.
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Old Oct 01, 2012, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by rmteo View Post
Working on a high endurance UAV for surveillance applications. The rf-link/control/vision/navigation subsystems are non-issues. Looking for ideas for a motive/power subsystem to meet the following primary operational requirements:

Range: up to 100km.
Ceiling: 3000m ASL.
User Payload: 3kg.
Loitering capability: >8 hours.
AUW: <45kg.

Due to the need for ease of launch (and recovery) a multi-rotor configuration is envisaged although other configurations can be considered.
AUW is less than 45 kg? Or did you have a typo and meant 4.5 kg?

For any loiter greater than 8 hours and a range of 100km you are really looking at a fixed wing aircraft with long skinny wing. You will not get a very practical flying machine with the kind of duration with multi rotor. Even with a single main rotor helicopter that is near impossible unless you have a way to refuel.
Old Oct 01, 2012, 03:40 AM
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Well, "classic" multirotor won't fit all requirements.
Flying wing will do - but won't be easy to launch and land.
Possibly something like quadshot (just bigger) would be much better hybrid, but won't archieve 8 hours of loitering time anyway (without thermal hunting) with electric engines.
I guess, you could make hybrid with gasoline engine (level fly) and electric engines (maybe with variable pitch) for fine control (yaw) and landing/takeoff, but...
Won't be easy =)
Old Oct 01, 2012, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by SeismicCWave View Post
AUW is less than 45 kg? Or did you have a typo and meant 4.5 kg?
Not a typo - 45 kg. for convenient ground handling by a 2-man team.
Old Oct 01, 2012, 05:01 AM
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i don't think you will get any valuable answers in this forum.. this is hobby grade stuff.. 8 hours flight time is just dreaming for our standards..
i think the only way to achieve it is with a gasser heli or a nuclear fuel cell of some kind...
Old Oct 01, 2012, 10:08 AM
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Looks like a conventional single rotor with a gasoline engine is the way to go. The Yamaha RMAX crop sprayer (246cc gasoline twin) with an AUW of 94kg. has an endurance of 60-90 minutes with a payload capacity of 30kg (equivalent to about 10 gallons of gasoline, which could be used for extending endurance).

Last edited by rmteo; Oct 01, 2012 at 10:24 AM.
Old Oct 02, 2012, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by thepelell View Post
i don't think you will get any valuable answers in this forum.. this is hobby grade stuff.. 8 hours flight time is just dreaming for our standards..
Agreed, thanks. I am looking for ideas/suggestions that I may have overlooked. For example on another forum https://forum.sparkfun.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=33621, someone suggested a rigid airship, which although not suitable, is something I had not considered.
Old Oct 02, 2012, 12:39 PM
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Another argument for the single rotor configuration. Whilst gas turbines are not known for being particularly fuel efficient, this one using a Rolls Royce turboshaft engine http://defensetech.org/2012/04/17/th...drone-chopper/ and based on a Bell 407 airframe has a payload capacity of 600-700lb. and an endurance of 14 hours. Downside is that AUW is 3,000+lb. and probably costs in the region of US$5 million (based on the a civilian Bell 206 Jet Ranger cost of about US$2 million).



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