ePropelled recently participated in the the UAS Summit & Expo—a yearly event that is the epicenter of drone research. The event brings together industry thought leaders, policymakers, and end-users from the commercial, government, and military sectors, and we are proud to have been a part of it.  

Dr. Nabeel Shirazee, ePropelled global CTO and MD, presented a session entitled “Power Generation System for Hybrid Ready Mode.” The session focused on the internal combustion engine (ICE) UAVs and their most energy efficient method of operation.  

Nabeel outlined three modes of ICE operation: 

  • Pure hybrid mode, in which starter generator and ICE are used for producing electricity for the UAV motors, battery charging, and avionics. 
  • ICE propulsion mode, in which ICE is used for powering and flying the UAV. 
  • Hybrid-ready mode, in which a starter generator propulsion motor (SGPM) provides power assist during takeoff, landing, and stealth maneuvers.  

The main issues that UAV designers face when having to meet specific mission profiles is sizing ICE for steady flight rather than exclusively for peak power requirements at takeoff. This is why hybrids are such an ingenious solution. Hybrids create synergies between the propulsion and power systems to produce lighter, more efficient aircraft. What’s exciting about this approach is the fact that it does not require continuous hybrid operation to be effective.  

The presentation outlined how the hybrid-ready design is much more energy efficient and can: 

  • use a starter generator as a propulsion motor to provide sufficient power to assist the internal combustion engine during takeoff,  
  • use battery power to extend flight time providing a mechanism to land the aircraft in the event of a fuel emergency, and  
  • temporarily use only electrical power for reduced noise. 

Hybrid-ready features—such as power assist—enable UAVs to fly higher, longer, and smarter, and should be an integral part of the aircraft systems design.  

Nabeel holds degrees in electrical and electronic engineering and in magnetic engineering. He earned his Ph.D. at Cardiff University, where he developed a permanent magnet lifting system that the university patented. His interest in magnetics and materials science is pushing his research and his work forward and we were very proud that he could present some of his work during the summit.  

To learn more, watch this free webinar here

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