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Aerospace 2017, 4(2), 20; doi:10.3390/aerospace4020020

Perpetual Solar-Powered Flight across Regions around the World for a Year-Long Operation

School of Aerospace Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang 14300, Malaysia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Javaan Chahl, David Anderson and Michael Wing
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 11 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Unmanned Aerial Systems)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [849 KB, uploaded 11 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

This study aims to promote the conventional solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to be used as a satellite known as a pseudo-satellite (pseudolite). The applications of UAV as a satellite are still in the initial stages because these proposed UAVs are required to fly for long hours at a specified altitude. Any solar-powered system requires extensive mission operation planning to ensure sufficient power to sustain a level flight. This study simulates the optimal UAV configurations at various global locations, and determines the feasibility of a solar-powered UAV to sustain a continuous mission. This study is divided into two different phases. An all-year operation of the average UAV (AVUAV) is simulated in Phase One and is designed specifically for each of 12 cities, namely, Ottawa, Honolulu, Quito, Tahiti, Brasilia, London, Riyadh, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Accra, Port Louis, and Suva. Phase Two is a simulation of a solar-powered UAV design model known as 1UAV, applicable to any city around the world for a year-long flight. The findings state that a single UAV design is sufficient to operate continuously around the world if its detailed mission path planning has been defined. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar-powered aircraft; unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV); global; perpetual flight; pseudo-satellite; solar irradiance solar-powered aircraft; unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV); global; perpetual flight; pseudo-satellite; solar irradiance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Rajendran, P.; Masral, M.H.; Kutty, H.A. Perpetual Solar-Powered Flight across Regions around the World for a Year-Long Operation. Aerospace 2017, 4, 20.

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