Two senior students at the Washington State University (WSU) Aerospace Club are working with Amazon to design a hydrogen-powered drone. Their goal is to break the current flight record.
CaseyAdam Doan is a senior in computer engineering The student is also the chairman of the Washington State University Aerospace Club. Together with Phil Whitworth, another mechanical engineering colleague, they are trying to build a drone that can extend the current flight time by about three to five times.
The current flight record is 4 hours and 40 minutes and was created by Quaternium on Christmas Eve 2017. This flight was completed in Valencia, Spain, with video recordings as evidence.
Doan said, The drone that created the new flight record uses a smaller fuel tank, fuel cell and drone frame. In order to stay in the air for a longer period of time, the WSU drone will have a larger fuel tank, but due to its weight and size constraints, it will also present challenges.
Doan said: “There is always a trade-off in engineering applications.”
The Washington State University’s Hydrogen Energy Research Laboratory (HYPER) initially passed the Amazon Catalyst Award (Amazon Catalyst Award). ) received a reward of $10,000.
Amazon has awarded awards to Washington State University and the University of Washington (UW) for their innovation and ability to solve real-world problems. Projects funded include low-cost, environmentally-friendly road maintenance materials and technologies that protect bees from pesticides.
Doan said HYPER Labs has hydrogen fuel cell technology and asked the Washington State University Aerospace Club to design its own drones and integrate fuel cells.
Whitworth said: “This is an emerging technology that uses intensive energy to create longer flight times.”
At present, traditional batteries greatly limit drones. Flight time. Long-haul drones already have applications for surveillance, investigation, rescue, fire, agriculture, media, and educational purposes, Doan said.
The project includes two senior design teams from mechanical and materials engineering, electrical engineering and computer science.
Doan said the electrical engineering and computer science team will design power electronics and controls that integrate proton exchange membrane fuel cells into the drone configuration.
The Aerospace Club website said that they will determine their performance based on the overall system weight, cost, durability and efficiency of the drone.
Doan and Whitworth encourage those interested in aerospace to attend the first club meeting, even if they are not science students.
Whitworth said: “We have mechanical engineers, computer engineers, biologists and communications students.”
Anyone interested in joining the club can be on Facebook, Instagram Find more information on Twitter, WSU Aerospace club pages or CougSync.