Multifunctional Structural-Energy Storage Nanocomposites for Ultra Lightweight Micro Autonomous Systems (First-year Report)

Report No. ARL-MR-0808
Authors: Mark L. Bundy, Daniel P. Cole, Monica Rivera, and Shashi P. Karna
Date/Pages: February 2012; 40 pages
Abstract: Micro vehicles (MVs) are projected to play an increasing role in both civilian and military applications. However, even with minimal payload, present day battery powered micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) have time-of-flights measured in minutes, woefully short for military applications. Since battery mass already accounts for a significant portion of the overall system mass, increasing battery size to boost MV endurance is not the solution. On the other hand, if the energy storage device can be efficiently integrated into the vehicle structure, serving multiple functions, it could increase endurance by reducing parasitic mass. Unlike larger vehicles, MVs are generally made from lightweight, flexible materials; hence, an integrated power source should have similar characteristics. The research reported herein focuses on preliminary results and progress in a Director's Research Initiative project focused on the design and fabrication of lightweight, flexible power sources, ultimately intended for integration into the structural features of MVs.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: February 1, 2012