Design and Manufacture of a Solar-Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for Civilian Surveillance Missions

Nelson Javier Pedraza Betancourth, Julio Enoc Parra Villamarin, John Jairo Vaca Rios, Pedro David Bravo-Mosquera, Hernán Darío Cerón-Muñoz


In order to promote the development of renewable energy and take advantage of the new technologies for the benefit of sustainability, both the design and the manufacture methodologies of an experimental solarpowered unmanned aerial vehicle for civilian surveillance applications are presented. Throughout the document, it is provided the historical process around the development of the aircraft. Therefore, in the first part, it is shown the aerodynamic design, which includes the 2-D and 3-D analyses of the wing platform using numerical and experimental methods, the analytical design of the empennage configuration, and the main characteristics of the performance analysis. In addition, major systems and components that characterize the aircraft are described, such as the photovoltaic solar cells configuration as well as the electronics and control system into the unmanned aerial vehicle. Lastly, the modeling for the weights distribution of the components was carried out in a preliminary test using CAD tools. Thus, it was obtained a suitable process for the manufacture of the unmanned aerial vehicle, considering that the purpose of the aircraft is to be as light and aerodynamic as possible to accomplish the mission for which it was created.


Unmanned aerial vehicle; Aerodynamic design; Performance analysis; Photovoltaic solar cells; Manufacture processes

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