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Electric Drones: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) 2015-2025
Publication Date Jan 2015
Publisher IDTechEx
Product Type Report
Pages 199
Single User License help $ 4495.00
 

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Thousands of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) will be deployed in the next few years for both civil and military missions. Early adoption of new technologies will be employed: from smart skin to structural components and intelligent motors with integral gearing.

Electric power makes the use of wheel power for take-off possible because electric motors can give maximum torque from stationary. It gives us near silent operation, in the air and on the ground, with virtually no noise or gaseous emissions, something valued in both military and civil applications. For long range UAVs where batteries are inadequate and hybrid powertrains are necessary, there can still be silent take-off and landing.

Only electrics can give us new forms of UAV; intelligently swarming robot flies being just one example of new missions made possible by electric power in UAVs.

There is work on unmanned aircraft harvesting power from winds at altitude using kites and beaming it to earth. No, this does not break the laws of physics. Other UAVs are held aloft by lasers and one other project will result in upper atmosphere UAVs that stay aloft for five years just on sunshine.

There is a concept of a military UAV, maybe hybrid electric, which performs its mission then dives like a gannet and hides underwater. Vertical take-off and landing UAVs are now commonplace, the best known being toys that can be programmed in a desired pattern of flight but there are also military and professional civil versions being deployed.

This unique report examines what will be achieved and the enabling technologies that will make it possible. The PhD level analysts at IDTechEx have been studying the subject for many years and initially they encompassed much of this analysis in a popular report on electric aircraft of all sorts. However, there is now so much happening in UAVs alone that this report has been prepared to focus on UAVs alone. No other report is as up-to-date and insightful about this subject.

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
1.1. Definition
1.2. Types
1.3. Global electric UAV market, number, unit value, market value 2015-2025
1.4. Electric vs non-electric UAVs 2015-2025
1.5. Benefits and issues
1.6. Applications 2014-5
1.7. Professional benefits
1.7.1. Most successful pure electric UAV
1.7.2. All parts subject to disruptive change
1.8. Agricultural uses multiply in 2014-5
1.9. Border surveillance
1.10. Competition for drones
1.11. Autonomy and technology
1.12. Benefits and paybacks
1.13. Effect of 2015 oil price collapse on electric vehicles
2. INTRODUCTION
2.1. Definitions and scope
2.2. Needs
2.3. Impediments
2.4. Benchmarking best practice with land and seagoing EVs
2.5. Quadcopter specifications
3. TECHNOLOGIES
3.1. Powertrains
3.1.1. Pure electric vs hybrid
3.1.2. Convergence
3.1.3. Options
3.1.4. Hybrid UAVs
3.1.5. Range extenders
3.1.6. Superconducting motor with range extender
3.2. Electric traction motors
3.2.1. 3D printing robot flies and their motors?
3.2.2. Quadcopter drone motors and controls
3.2.3. Traction motors for land, water and air vehicles
3.3. Shape of motors
3.4. Location of motors
3.5. Traction motor technology preference
3.6. Three ways that traction motors makers race to escape rare earths
3.6.1. Synchronous motors with new magnets
3.6.2. Asynchronous motors
3.6.3. More to come
3.7. Implications for electric aircraft
3.8. Batteries
3.8.1. Battery history
3.8.2. Analogy to a container of liquid
3.8.3. Construction of a battery
3.8.4. Many shapes of battery
3.8.5. Trend to laminar and conformal traction batteries
3.8.6. Aurora laminar batteries in aircraft.
3.8.7. Choices of chemistry and assembly
3.8.8. Lithium winners today and soon
3.8.9. Lithium polymer electrolyte now important
3.8.10. Winning chemistry
3.8.11. Winning lithium traction battery manufacturers
3.8.12. Making lithium batteries safe
3.8.13. Boeing Dreamliner: Implications for electric aircraft
3.9. Fuel cells
3.9.1. Slow progress with fuel cells
3.9.2. Aerospace and aviation applications
3.9.3. AeroVironment USA
3.9.4. Boeing Europe
3.9.5. ENFICA Italy and UK
3.9.6. Pipistrel Slovenia
3.9.7. University of Stuttgart Germany
3.10. Energy harvesting
3.10.1. Multiple forms of energy to be managed
3.10.2. Photovoltaics
3.10.3. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland
3.10.4. ETH Zurich Switzerland
3.10.5. Green Pioneer China
3.10.6. Gossamer Penguin USA
3.10.7. Néphélios France
3.10.8. Silent Falcon™ UAS Technologies
3.10.9. Soaring China
3.10.10. Solair Germany
3.10.11. Sunseeker USA
3.10.12. University of Applied Sciences Schwäbisch Gmünd Germany
3.10.13. US Air Force
3.10.14. Northrop Grumman USA
3.11. Other energy harvesting
3.12. Regenerative soaring
3.13. Biomimetic aircraft snatch and export power?
3.13.1. IFO-Energy Unlimited in Hungary
3.13.2. Copy the birds
3.13.3. How to capture the wind?
3.13.4. Valid physics
3.13.5. How to maintain altitude?
3.13.6. Storage of energy is more challenging
3.13.7. Onboard superconducting technology?
3.13.8. Flywheels and EV technologies?
3.13.9. Soaring airliners?
3.14. Power beaming
3.15. Hybrid powertrains in action
3.15.1. Multifuel and monoblock engines
3.15.2. Beyond Aviation: formerly Bye Energy USA, France
3.15.3. Flight Design Germany
3.15.4. Lotus UK
3.15.5. Microturbines - Bladon Jets, Capstone, ETV Motors, Atria
3.16. Hybrid aircraft projects
3.16.1. Delta Airlines USA
3.16.2. DLR Germany
3.16.3. EADS Germany
3.16.4. Flight Design Germany
3.16.5. GSE USA
3.16.6. Krossblade USA
3.16.7. Ricardo UK
3.16.8. Turtle Airships Spain
3.16.9. University of Bristol UK
3.16.10. University of Colorado USA
3.17. Rethinking the structural design
4. SMALL UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES AND OTHER EXOTICA
4.1. SUAV
4.1.1. Airbus becomes a quadcopter user in 2014
4.1.2. In 2014: UAR Postal, DJI Innovations, Estes, ISQ, Scan Eagle
4.1.3. Aurora Skate UAV wins border protection award
4.1.4. AeroVironment small UAVs
4.1.5. Hirobo Japan
4.1.6. Rotomotion
4.1.7. Robot insects
4.1.8. Reconnaissance bugs and bats
4.1.9. Nano air vehicle
4.1.10. Lite Machines Corporation USA
4.1.11. NRL launch an unmanned aerial vehicle from a submerged submarine
4.1.12. University of Arizona
4.1.13. Vienna University of Technology
4.2. Large electrical UAVs
4.2.1. VESPAS Europe
4.2.2. AeroVironment Helios and Global Observer
4.2.3. AeroVironment/ NASA USA
4.2.4. Airbus HAPS solar plane
4.2.5. Boeing and Versa USA, QinetiQ & Newcastle University UK
4.2.6. Japanese solar sail to Venus
4.2.7. QinetiQ UK
4.2.8. Solar Flight USA
4.3. New uses of small UAVs 2014-5
4.3.1. Mini helicopters tracking weeds
4.3.2. Drones to better understand how diseases spread
4.3.3. Drones used to monitor behaviour of killer whales
4.3.4. NMSU tests unmanned aircraft over active mine
4.3.5. Multicopter RFID readers
5. UAV DEPLOYMENT
5.1. AeroVironment / CybAero USA, Sweden
5.2. Flight of the Century USA
5.3. NASA testing electric propulsion
5.4. Windward Performance USA

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