The next speaker in our student seminar series will be Steven Recoskie. Steven will be giving a talk titled “Autonomous, hybrid powered, long ranged airship for surveillance and guidance ”.
Where: CBY B205
Date: Wednesday April 16th, 2014
The seminar of the talk is given below. Hope to see you all there!
Autonomous, hybrid powered, long ranged airship for surveillance and guidance
Candidate: Steven Recoskie
Supervisors: Drs. Eric Lanteigne and Wail Gueaieb
With devastating natural disasters on the rise, new technologies are needed to improve search and rescue capabilities. Unmanned aerial vehicles are the ideal candidates for surveying disaster-stricken areas and searching for survivors, however, their range and endurance is limited. The objective of this research was to investigate alternative propulsion methods and flight planning techniques for increasing the flight endurance of unmanned airships. Airship design methodologies were reviewed leading to the development and experimental testing of two hybrid fuel-electric power plants. The mechanical and electrical power was measured and we were able to demonstrate that the proposed system offered a 600% increase in energy density when compared to purely electric systems. Based on this vehicle configuration, a comprehensive multi-objective cost function was developed for flight path optimization using a wavefront expansion path planner. Paths were simulated in large 3D environments incorporating variable wind vector fields generated from computational fluid dynamic analysis on digital elevations maps. Combined with a full dynamic model of the airship and two different control strategies, we have been able to show that the paths generated by the planner lead to significant improvements in path feasibility and energy optimality when compared to using constant wind fields.