You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • What would be the best way to do energy harvesting for a fixed wing MAV ? (500 grams or less)
  • George,

    The thermal harvesting idea is one my university has been trying to figure out. We found these papers by a researcher early this year: (In no particular citation format)

    Allen, Michael J.; Updraft Model for Development of Autonomous Soaring Uninhabited Air Vehicles; NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California 93523-0273, USA; AIAA

    Allen, Michael J.; Autonomous Soaring for Improved Endurance of a Small Uninhabited Air Vehicle; NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, 93523-0273, U.S.A.; AIAA

    Google Scholar should have to problem getting these for you. Basically, This guy has the model for the average thermal field, and has written the matlab code for getting into these.

    As to the barometric pressure sensor, I'm not sure. I've heard of ideas of using thermometers to sense thermals, but the response time was in question. One thing I know doesn't work is trying to see them, as thermals get blown around anyway, and so are not always exactly over a hot parking lot. (And most thermal cameras will break the bank.)

  • I believe spectroline (boeing subsidiary) makes some great solar cells that have been used for UAV's. $5,000 minimum order though, perhaps a diydrones group buy?

    That combined with thermal lift could enable indefinite flight. Anyone have the link to the UAV that flew for two days and landed with full batteries? The researchers had to run shifts the whole time to look for thermals but I believe a barometric pressure sensor could find them? Combine this with an autopilot that makes a map of the location of thermals and you could have a "recharge mode" Where the plane just stays alot via thermals and solar cells then go back to "mission mode" once the batteries are full. Just some thoughts.
  • It is both good and bad news for me!

    Good, because it means I was not so crazy after all, I was thinking about the application of magnetic field around HVLs for powering/charging a small UAV a few months ago specially after seeing this

    Bad news because I did not do anything about it but some research and now it has been patented. Although the patent has been filed in 2005 long before I had come up with the same idea :)
  • You can read the full patent application here:

    The patented idea is the procedure and the respected mechanism as a whole, not the idea of recharging uavs from powerlines in general.
    Power line sentry charging
    A rechargeable battery energized unmanned aerial vehicle having surveillance capability and an ability to clandestinely collect propulsion and other…
  • Why this one can be patent?
This reply was deleted.