Hybrid Propulsion System

NWUAV Hybrid
Propulsion System

NWUAV is currently developing a hybrid system for improved operational UAV capability with quieter, more efficient operation.

Current UAV ICEs are typically sized to provide sufficient power and speed for takeoff capability, which can vary with each specific UAV, leading to a propulsion system, which may operate below peak efficiency during other operation conditions.  In addition, ICEs typically are noisy due to the exhaust emissions.  EM based systems are quiet, but have limited range of operation unless they can be charged during operation by another energy source.  Making a hybrid system between an ICE and an EM would broaden the operational capability of a UAV to take advantage of quiet, efficient operation of electric-based propulsion while also taking advantage of the energy dense liquid fuel based ICEs.

Products that were utilized for the AFRL Effort

A summary of products and benefits:

  • Hybrid Drive Propulsion System for small UAS – quiet operation and performance upgrades
  • Power Generation System for UAS and ground robotic applications – lower cost
  • Variable Pitch Propeller System – Increased flight duration
  • Quiet propeller blade design – Noise reduction and increase efficiency
  • NWUAV Muffler System – Lower noise, increase of engine power
Hybrid Propulsion System