Hybrid Drivetrain for UAVs

Summary

Technology Description

 

This hybrid drivetrain combines the benefits of an electric motor and a gas engine to enable vertical takeoff and landing as well as extended flights times in both fixed wing and multi-rotor drone designs. The system has optimized components to allow the electric motor to function as motor and generator and also eliminates excess components associated with a gas-only powertrain, further reducing weight and improving flight time. The 1kW system has been extensively tested on a custom-built test stand.

 

Features & Benefits

  • Improved efficiency
  • Extended flight time
  • Reduced powertrain weight

 

Applications

 

  • Fixed wing and multi-rotor UAVs
  • Remote sensing
  • Extended reconnaissance

 

Background of Invention

 

Hybrid drive systems can provide significant advantages related to flight time, weight, and fuel savings for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). However, existing hybrid UAV drive train systems require an electric motor for engine starting applications, and a separate electric motor for generating electricity and/or turning a propeller shaft to produce thrust. Moreover, existing electronic speed controllers for brushless DC motors lack the ability to sense voltage and current flowing from the motor when it is operating as a generator. Accordingly, a need exists for improvements to hybrid UAV drive trains and associated motor and motor control hardware.

 

Status

 

Patent pending; seeking partners

 

Patent Information:
Tech ID:
OSU-17-52
Contact:
David Dickson
IP & Licensing Manager
Oregon State University
541-737-3450
david.dickson@oregonstate.edu
Inventors:
Christopher Hagen
Sean Brown
Shyam Menon
Thomas Herron
Keywords:
Unmanned Aerial Systems
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
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