A 1 kW series hybrid powertrain was developed at Oregon State University for use in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This powertrain was designed to give mission flexibility and increased flight time to fixed-wing vertical takeoff and landing UAVs and multirotor UAVs. The powertrain components, an internal combustion engine and a brushless DC motor acting as a generator, were optimized and characterized in a test facility also developed as part of this work. For the first time, a fuel-injected two-stroke engine was optimized for use in a UAV hybrid powertrain, and a thorough dataset was presented on the performance and characterization of a UAV hybrid powertrain generator. Shown in the results, these components were sufficient to provide 1 kW of DC power to be used for battery charging throughout flight. By generating power equal or greater than that being consumed for propulsion, multirotors can achieve significantly longer flight time while maintaining the control capable from the use of electric motors. This work attempts to fill apparent research gaps of fuel injection for a UAV series hybrid powertrain and generator performance data for a UAV series hybrid powertrain.
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