Modelling of UAVs Hovering in Extreme Temperature Environments
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As unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) become more widely available, they are being applied to an ever-widening range of tasks, especially in areas that are inaccessible or dangerous to humans. Of particular interest is the potential to use UAVs in extremely hot environments. Batteries and motors are sensitive to high temperatures, so UAVs operating in such an environment must be specially designed to resist the heat to survive as long as possible. To facilitate the design of UAVs for extreme temperature, we have developed a temperature-dependent mathematical model of a UAV. The motors and battery are modelled as separate entities surrounded by insulation, which greatly reduces heat transfer the outside the UAV, and phase-change material (PCM), which absorbs waste heat from the internal components. No other electrical components are modelled. Given the physical properties of various components, the model can predict the temperature of the internal components over time and the point at which the UAV is no longer capable of hovering. Preliminary results from a MATLAB simulation suggest that a commercial UAV with PCM and insulation could last several minutes in extreme heat.
Ghan, Daniel (2017). Modelling of UAVs Hovering in Extreme Temperature Environments. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from