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Design work is in progress for a solar-regenerative high altitude deployable/morphing unmanned aircraft that utilizes highly-flexible polyimide-film wings with flexible solar panels, and is powered electrically with a fuel-cell system.  Patents are developed on the concept.  The novel aircraft requires advancements in design methods, aerodynamics, structures, propulsion and fuel cell systems integration, and control and operations.  Past FVDT student research examples include:

  • Highly flexible wing experimental aerodynamic testing
  • Leading-edge vortex flap design and analysis
  • Aerodynamic computational model of wing deployment as a function of altitude
  • Surface pressure measurements and packable wing structural layout analysis