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Sensors 2019, 19(8), 1771; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19081771

A Novel Energy Harvester for Powering Small UAVs: Performance Analysis, Model Validation and Flight Results

1
Department of Engineering, University of Rome Tor Vergata, 00100 Roma, Italy
2
Department of Engineering, University of Palermo, 90128 Palermo, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 13 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Harvester Sensing)
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Abstract

The proposed work aims at exploring and developing new strategies to extend mission parameters (measured as travel distance and mission duration (MD)) of a new class of unmanned vehicles, named Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). In this paper, a new analytical model, identifying all factors, which determine the MAV power consumption, is presented. Starting from the new model, the design of a nanoarray energy harvester, based on plasmonics nano-antenna technology is proposed. The preliminary study was based on a 22,066,058 22,066,058 × 62,800-dipole rectenna array producing an output power level of 84.14 mW, and an energy value of 2572 J under a power density of 100 mW/cm² and a resonant frequency of 350 THz as input conditions. The preliminary analytical results show a possible recharge of an ultra-fast rechargeable battery on board of a MAV and an MD improvement of 16.30 min. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy harvester; MAV; power consumption model; nano-antennas; dipole rectenna array; perpetual flight energy harvester; MAV; power consumption model; nano-antennas; dipole rectenna array; perpetual flight
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Citroni, R.; Di Paolo, F.; Livreri, P. A Novel Energy Harvester for Powering Small UAVs: Performance Analysis, Model Validation and Flight Results. Sensors 2019, 19, 1771.

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