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Avian-inspired energy-harvesting from atmospheric phenomena for small UAVs

Gavrilovic, Nikola and Abdulghani, Mohamed and Marino, Matthew and Watkins, Simon and Moschetta, Jean-Marc and Bénard, Emmanuel Avian-inspired energy-harvesting from atmospheric phenomena for small UAVs. (2019) Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 14 (1). 1-20. ISSN 1748-3190

(Document in English)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-3190/aaec61


Fixed-wing small, unmanned aerial vehicles (SUAVs) usually fly in atmospheric boundary layers that are often under the influence of turbulent environments. Inspired by nature's flyers, an application of an energy-harvesting flight strategy for increasing the energy state of the aircraft is presented. This paper provides basic longitudinal flight dynamic model exposing the physics behind the process. It shows significant power savings in flight with a sinusoidal and stochastic wind profile with active control of energy-harvesting. The active control based on optimized proportional gains was implemented for energy extraction from realistic atmospheric conditions, leading to significant energy savings for a 'bird-sized' vehicle. The paper reveals the equipment and necessary preparations for the flight test campaign. Moreover, it describes the design of a custom controller and its calibration in the wind tunnel against roll movements during pitching maneuvers. Finally, it investigates the benefits and potential of the automated process of energy-harvesting with simple proportional control through flight tests in a turbulent environment, validating the concept through the increased energy state of the aircraft.

Item Type:Article
HAL Id:hal-02059643
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE-SUPAERO (FRANCE)
Other partners > Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology - RMIT (AUSTRALIA)
Laboratory name:
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR) under research grant LABCOM “MIDLELAB” - Région Occitanie, under thesearch grant “E-Albatros”
Deposited On:06 Mar 2019 17:03

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