Hybrid power system for Micro Air Vehicles

Bakytgul Khaday, Purdue University


Today Micro Air Vehicles are in need of a good power source that would enable them longer flight time and various functionalities. This work is focused on to this problem. A possible solution that is offered in this study is implementing a hybrid power system consisting of battery and supercapacitor (SCAP). The proposed hybrid power system was tested on an existing MAV platform (Cheerson CX-10). A separate hybrid power printed circuit board (PCB) was designed and manufactured. For experimental and system verification purposes, the PCB was not sized for on-board flight. The hybrid power PCB was connected to MAV through light power wires. To eliminate flight inconsistency, a testbed was constructed from plywood. The quadcopter was controlled using a joystick. In total, three experimental tests were conducted. In the first experiment, SCAP charge time was evaluated and compared to the calculated value. The results were very close. In the second and third experiments, MAV flight time was collected for both battery and hybrid powered MAVs for two different flight patterns. The first pattern was flying 10 seconds at low speed using battery power and 10 seconds at average speed using SCAPs power. The second pattern was flying at a fixed average speed: 10 seconds with battery and 5 seconds with SCAP power. For all the experiments, six new fully charged batteries were used. In every flight, in order to reduce the risk of decreasing battery performance, battery voltage was controlled so as not to exceed 75% depth of discharge. As soon as it reached 75% discharge rate, the flight was discontinued. At the end of the experiments, statistical data analysis was performed. The study hypothesis that the hybrid powered MAV flight time is more than the battery powered MAV flight time was proven.




Matson, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Electrical engineering|Robotics

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