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Sun Tracking Technique Applied to a Solar Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

By Jorge Luis Hernandez Toral, Ivan Gonzalez Hernandez and Rogelio Lozano


International audienceIn recent years, solar energy has been used as an energy source for many different applications. Currently in the area of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), there are research studies that incorporate this renewable energy technology to increase the vehicle's autonomy. This technique also needs particular construction techniques and electronic boards, designed to reduce weight and increase the efficiency of all solar systems on board the UAV. As is well known, the amount of generated solar energy could be increased throughout a day a sun tracking technique is added. The present paper proves that the roll angle of a fixed wing UAV can be used to track the sun to increase the energy generated by the solar panels placed on the wing. In that case, the plane's attitude must be compensated with the yaw angle control to be able to perform a photogrammetric mission. This will be achieved using a control strategy based on the super-twisting technique that ensures convergence in finite time even in the presence of bounded perturbations. The design of the control laws as well as the numerical simulation and real flight results are shown to validate the use of the sun tracking system

Topics: fixed wing, supertwisting, sun tracking, power alternative systems, [INFO.INFO-AU]Computer Science [cs]/Automatic Control Engineering
Publisher: 'MDPI AG'
Year: 2019
DOI identifier: 10.3390/drones3020051
OAI identifier: oai:HAL:hal-02406982v1
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