Hybrid Unmanned Aircraft System with Long Flight Autonomy and Capable of Lifting 20 lbs of Payload
Students: Seth Mathew Miller, Cody Thomas Langenfeld, Jim Keyser, Derek Ellinger and Robert Menarcheck Advisor: Dr. Vladimir Gurau
Engineering Technology Department Kent State University at Tuscarawas, 330 University Dr. N.E., New Philadelphia, OH 44663
Introduction Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) are systems comprising of an unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV), its payloads, the control station, its support subsystem and its communication subsystem . UASs can be used for cargo / package delivery or as sensor platforms for data acquisition  such as aerial mapping, aerial surveying, precision agriculture (crop health or crop damage assessment), natural resource management (wildlife census, impact of human activities on wildlife), inspection of industrial and civil infrastructure, aerial filming and photography, news reporting or intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and emergency response. Objectives The current project represents Phase 3 of a four-phase endeavor at Kent State University at Tuscarawas. Its general objectives are to design, build and test an UAS consisting of an octocopter as UAV (Figure 1) for data acquisition and capable of operating under manual control, stabilized control and automated control (autopilot). The system has video acquisition and recording subsystem consisting of an SJ 4000 action camera mounted on a 3–axes gimbal for image stabilization (Figure 2) and first person view (FPV) subsystem consisting of an HD camera, 5.8 GHz video transmitter and receiver modules and on-screen display (OSD) for transmitting telemetry data (Figure 3).
Figure 1 The Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (Octocopter) Built at KSU Tuscarawas To secure an increased flight autonomy, the power electrical system is hybrid and will consist of six lithium-polymer batteries recharged by a 0.5 kW High-Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (HT-PEMFC) stack designed and built at KSU Tuscarawas (Figure 4).
Doctor Vladimir Gurua
In the first two phases of the project the HT-PEMFC and the methanol reformer, the octocopter, the gimbal for video acquisition system and the FPV system have been designed and built. In the current phase, we will integrate the flight control system, will calibrate the sensors for stabilized and automated flight control (sensor for global navigation satellite system, electronic compass, altimeter / range finder and accelerometer / gyroscope), will program flight modes, will integrate the video acquisition and FPV system and will test the system in various flight modes. In a future phase, the HT-PEMFC and the methanol reformer will be integrated to the UAS to secure an increased flight autonomy. References  R. Austin: “Unmanned Aircraft Systems – UAVs Design, Development and Deployment”, John Wiley & Sons Ltd (2010),  “Introduction to Unmanned Aircraft Systems”, CRC Press, 2nd Edition, D.M. Marshall, R.K. Barnhart, E. Shappee and M.T. Most Editors (2016)  J. Snyder, D. Vonallman and J. Allen: “Design and Fabrication of a Methanol Reformer for Production of Hydrogen as Fuel for High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells”, 2nd Annual Undergraduate Symposium on Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity, Kent State University, March 11, 2015