Continued development and flight testing of a long-endurance solar-powered unmanned aircraft: UIUC-TUM solar flyer

Or D. Dantsker, Mirco Theile, Marco Caccamo, Simon Yu, Moiz Vahora, Renato Mancuso

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The growing application space of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is creating the need for aircraft capable of autonomous, long-distance, and long-endurance flights. The two main challenges are the limited power capacity of UAVs, as well as the adaptation to real-time detected stimuli, changing the course of the mission. This paper describes the continuous development of the UIUC-TUM Solar Flyer, which is equipped with lowpower, high-performance computing capabilities. The Solar Flyer addresses the aforementioned challenges by balancing power consumption and solar power generation, and by performing on-board data processing, to enable real-time mission adaptation. The Solar Flyer was developed from commercial-of-the-shelf components, making it affordable for a wide variety of applications. Current efforts have built on previous work in terms of airframe, avionics, and flight software. Significant effort has been allocated to the re-design of the propulsion and energy systems as well as the re-organization of the aircraft system layout. The avionics and the opensource uavAP flight software were integrated into the aircraft, which was recently flight tested in a variety of conditions, confirming aircraft power consumption and production values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105951
StatePublished - 2020
EventAIAA Scitech Forum, 2020 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Jan 6 2020Jan 10 2020

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2020 Forum
Volume1 PartF


ConferenceAIAA Scitech Forum, 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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