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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Miniature UAV Wind LIDAR & Flight Extension System, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Systems & Processes Engineering Corporation and Texas A&M University propose a Wind Measurement LIDAR System for extending the flight duration or decreasing fuel consumption on UAVs and light aircraft. The system uses a fiber optic based, eye-safe wind LIDAR from another NASA effort, combined with previous software studies on an Army program to yield a system capable of increasing fuel economy by up to 20% by optimally moving control surfaces in response to thermals and wind gusts, seen by the wind LIDAR. The system also plots the optimum course through thermals and wind gust for maximum dwell time or fuel economy. The sensor assembly is composed of a wind LIDAR using fiber optic transceiver operating at eye-safe1550nm. This LIDAR allows air current Doppler detection beyond 3km and fine range resolution by using pulse compression. The LIDAR was sized to detect energy sources, vertical uplifts, wind direction, wind gradients and transient gusts, for energy conservation in UAVs More »

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