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GARDN II Projects (2014-2019)

Energy Efficient Aircraft Configurations and Concepts of Operation

NU-21

 

Objectives:

Investigate novel air vehicle configurations, advanced propulsion systems, and noise reduction techniques to enable cleaner and quieter UAV operations and air transportation.

The design and development will be performed as an integral part of the aircraft conceptual design, which will enable specifically:

  • Noise Reduction using hybrid/electric propulsion
  • Greener and Cleaner Operations
  • Experimental validation and evaluation

This includes the development of a hybrid gas/electric propulsion system that will allow advanced technologies such as distributed propulsion. The technology will be demonstrated using Nebula’s existing VTOL fixed wing UAV air frame.

This research will result in technologies that will benefit both manned aircraft sector as well as unmanned aircraft.

Results:

This project has investigated novel air vehicle configurations, advanced propulsion systems and noise reduction techniques to enable cleaner and quieter UAV operations and air transportation by:

  • Reducing fuel consumption: smaller and more efficient engine for cruise operating points for which distributed propulsion can enable more advanced configurations with additional potential benefits such as blown wings or VTOL configurations that can fly in fixed wing mode;
  • Reduced footprint: reduce noise (and vibration) when hybrid is run on full electric, allowing low observability/impact in operations such as wildfire and environmental monitoring;
  • Greener and cleaner operation: temperature differentials and energy harvesting using floating flaps may yield usable amounts of energy for on-board systems while reducing cooling drag by actively cooling cylinder heat and muffler.

Duration:

2 years

 

Partners: