A team of researchers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division including Gerry Miller has invented an auxiliary power generator for fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles. The patented technology is available via patent license agreement to companies that would make, use, or sell it commercially.
Known as the Thor Power Pod, the tube-shaped generator attaches to the airframe and uses ram-air/turbine engineering to produce 135 kilowatts, fed to an auxiliary power unit, that can power electronic warfare, lasers, or other devices for military or commercial payloads that would otherwise drain onboard batteries and decrease flight time.
The Thor Power Pod could be attached via hardpoints under a piloted aircraft’s wing.
An additional concept covered by the patent has the split-spool power generation system built into the wing of an aircraft. If the opening of the unit was on top of the wing it could reduce pressure and improve lift.
- Provides on-demand power to UAV or payload accessories
- Can be retrofitted to existing UAV and aircraft
- Vehicle/platform agnostic
- Businesses can commercialize the technology by licensing U.S. Patent 10,173,784 from the Navy
- License fees paid to the Navy are negotiable
- Prototype available for review
- Businesses that license the technology have the opportunity to pursue collaborative research with the inventors
- TechLink guides businesses through evaluation and licensing; services provided at no cost