Energy Harvesting (EH) for Small Air Vehicles

Period of Performance: 04/10/2007 - 04/10/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Orbital Research, Inc.
4415 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44103
Principal Investigator


Orbital Research will develop a tightly integrated photovoltaic cell and battery energy storage subsystem and flight test the system on a micro air vehicle (MAV). This energy harvesting (EH) technology, efficiently packaged, will also save weight by serving as a structural element of the MAV s airframe.. By using high efficiency photovoltaic cells packaged with high energy density batteries the mission capability of MAVs will be dramatically increased. A power management system will also be integrated into this structural package to manage the health of the system and to report on its condition to the MAV s global power management system. The EH system s tight integration of solar cells and batteries will provide enough added power to significantly extend the MAV s mission duration beyond the capability of batteries alone. Upon successful completion of this program, Orbital Research envisions the integrated photovoltaic cells, battery and power management will be a plug-and-play subsystem for multiple MAV platforms. Thus, MAV integrators will be able to include this technology into their MAV airframes to optimize power management and mission flexibility.