Unmanned Aircraft System Propulsion Systems Technology Survey

This technology survey is an investigation of various propulsion systems used in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Discussed are existing and near-future propulsion mechanisms of UAS, such as reciprocating piston engines, Wankel rotary engines, gas turbine engines, rocket-powered systems, electric motors, and battery-based systems. Also discussed are systems that use proton exchange membrane fuel cells, photovoltaics, ultracapacitors, and propellers. Each system is described in reference to a larger conceptual framework, with instances and profiles of existing UAS employing the system being described. Advantages and disadvantages of each type of propulsion system are identified along with associated technical issues and their respective applicability to a UAS context, all of which are described with regard to the concern over regulation and introduction of UAS into the National Airspace System.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

    600 South Clyde Morris Boulevard
    Daytona Beach, FL  United States  32114

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Authors:
    • Griffis, C A
    • Wilson, T
    • Schneider, J
    • Pierpont, P
  • Publication Date: 2009-9


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Pagination: 74p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01150559
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 10 2010 12:42PM