Propulsion system for a small unmanned aerial vehicle

University essay from KTH/Skolan för teknikvetenskap (SCI); KTH/Skolan för teknikvetenskap (SCI)

Author: Dennis Wikman; Oscar Andersson; [2020]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: For unmanned aerial vehicles there is a wide variety of selection for propulsion systems. Depending on the specific choice of system, the characteristics of the aircraft vary significantly. The choice is also dependent on the size of the UAV itself as well as desired performance and utility. Propulsion systems have made significant advancements over the last decades in the UAV sector. The Skywalker X8 is a popular small UAV and most commonly flown electrically. What propulsion would then be fitting for the originally 2 m wingspan Skywalker X8 if its size in dimensions were doubled. This study presents an early suggestion of a propulsion system for the double sized Skywalker X8. The final propulsion system is a hybrid system consisting of a fuel cell and batteries, giving a time of operational flight of 19 hrs. The results show that the method of choice works as an early design solution of selecting a propulsion system and determining performance. However, it may be an inaccurate representation of the physical model and needs to be followed up by more detailed analysis of the UAV. It is concluded that further experimentation should be done in order to verify the data calculated with this model.

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