Energy Management Techniques for Hybrid Electric Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Electrical Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Advisor: Raúl Ordóñez


Recently, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have been using a Hybrid Electric (HE)approach for propelling the UAS and running its avionics. The HE approach can allow theUAS to become more fuel e?cient by using the battery power to supplement the generatorin times where the required power changes quickly. However, the supervisory controllersfor the UAS's typically do not take full advantage of the possibilities brought along by theinclusion of batteries. A baseline control method is described that uses simple PI and rulebased control, then multiple new control strategies are investigated to determine the idealratio of battery and generator power at every moment. An adaptive power split controllerusing extremum seeking control for the optimization is used for instantaneous causal controlof the generator. This method is able to improve upon the baseline and reduce the fuelusage by about ten percent. By allowing knowledge of the mission a prior, a simpli?edmodel can be used to implement dynamic programming, with the objective of reducing fuelusage throughout the mission. In our simulations, we ?nd that it is possible to achievemore than ?fteen percent decrease in fuel usage. By using Extremum seeking control toadjust the internal combustion engine's speed directly, the dynamic programming methodis further improved through the addition of robustness to errors in the engine e?ciencymodels.


Electrical Engineering, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Dynamic Programming, Extremum Seeking Control, Power Optimization

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