Seminar - 08242018

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NRL Power and Energy Research for Group 1/2 UAS

August 24, 2018
ME Auditorium

Dr. Dan Edwards

Chief Scientist, Vehicle Research Section, Tactical Electronic Warfare Division, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory


Missions for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the Department of Defense may vary, but a common thread is an ever-increasing desire for more endurance.  The US Naval Research Laboratory's Vehicle Research Section has conducted several UAS power and energy projects over the last decade.  Solar-Soaring is a powered sailplane with integrated solar photovoltaics and autonomous soaring guidance algorithms, which has demonstrated dawn-to-dusk endurance.  Ion Tiger is a fuel cell testbed, demonstrating +24hr endurance on gaseous hydrogen and +48hr on liquid hydrogen fuel.  Hybrid Tiger is a multi-day endurance Group 2 UAS, enabled by the combination of solar photovoltaic arrays, a hydrogen fuel cell, and energy-aware guidance.  This talk with give a background on these programs, describe their results, and suggest areas where future research may find even more endurance. 


Dr. Dan Edwards of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is the Chief Scientist 
for the Vehicle Research Section within Tactical Electronic Warfare Division. 
Dr. Edwards earned his PhD in 2008 from North Carolina State University 
developing autonomous soaring algorithms on a UAV sailplane, extending the 
endurance of the sailplane to over 5.2hr and 100km using just the power from 
atmospheric thermals.  He has +15 years of experience designing and operating 
unmanned systems, including the flying circuit-board CICADA micro UAV, 
Solar-Soaring UAV with +11hr endurance, Ion Tiger Group-2 UAS with 48hr 
endurance, and multi-modal Flying Sea Glider UAV/UUV.  Dr. Edwards is 
currently developing hybrid soaring / solar / fuel-cell energy systems in the 
Hybrid Tiger program, funded by OSD (Operational Energy), with a goal of 
Trans-Pacific range and multi-day endurance



Dr. Daniel A. Nussbaum
Naval Postgraduate School 
Principal, Energy Academic Group
Monterey CA 93943
Phone: 831-656-2387
Mobile: 831-324-3228

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