Advanced Propulsion for UAVs:
The Role of Fuel Cell-Based Energy Systems for Commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
UAVs are versatile tools used for surveying and monitoring applications; in the future, they will carry out many more tasks, such as wireless internet access and package delivery.
However, with the growing interest, limitations in the current propulsion systems are coming to light. This paper discusses the applicability of fuel cell-based propulsion in this next phase of UAV commercialization.
Some benefits offered by fuel cell UAVs include:
- Greater reliability than small internal combustion engines (ICE)
- Lower total cost of ownership than small ICE.
- Lower noise and heat signature than small ICE
- Longer operating range than batteries– greater than 3x
- Lower weight than batteries
CASE STUDIES: also included in this paper are case studies of a variety of UAV platforms powered by fuel cell systems.
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