SPARCS Rotary Engine for Electric VTOLs
Advanced Innovative Engineering, the lead partner of this ATI-funded project, has been working with a collaboration of SMEs to develop a hybrid power unit for use in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The project will couple an internal combustion engine with a hybrid power system to achieve benefits that include extending flight range, reducing fuel burn and improving flight acoustics.
Most multirotor UAVs are exclusively electric, primarily to due weight considerations, and have an average flight time of 30 – 40 minutes. By combining technologies, speed, distance and cost requirements can all be met. UAVs are becoming increasingly popular in the provision of a range of civilian services such as: land surveying; building inspection; crop-spraying; ; search and rescue.
Multi-rotor vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAVs (remotely piloted aircraft systems – RPAS) are well suited to this growing emerging market. Amongst other things, the ease-of-control afforded by VTOL RPAS over other platforms makes them ideal for civilian applications. Areas of particular application are currently in first responder, search and rescue, surveillance, agriculture and coastal patrols.
Having previously engaged in a number of UK projects including NATEP, Innovate UK’s SMART funding and Niche Vehicle, this is Advanced Innovative Engineering’s first ATI project. The SREEV project will be delivered by a consortium consisting of four leading cross-disciplinary SMEs based in the UK.Download the SPARCS Rotary Engine for Electric VTOLs case study