Design of a solar system to support the main power supply of an unmanned Aerial vehicle
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Having an exciting array of applications, the scope of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) application could be far wider if its flight endurance can be prolonged. Solar-powered UAV, promising notable prolongation in flight endurance, is increasing attention in the industries’ recent research and development. The project aims to modify a 2-metre wingspan remote- controlled (RC) UAV available in the consumer market to be powered by a combination of solar and battery-stored power. The major objective is to greatly increase the flight endurance of the UAV by the power generated from the solar panels. The power system is first designed by selecting the suitable system architecture and then selecting suitable components related to solar power. The flight control system is configured to conduct flight tests and validate the power system performance. Under fair experimental conditions with desirable weather conditions, the solar power system on the aircraft resulted in 22.5% savings in the use of battery-stored capacity. The decrease rate of battery voltage during the stable level flight of the solar-powered UAV built is also much slower.