Students1: Y.H.A. Brouwers, J.A.L Daneels, T.M.T. Doornbos, H. Huang, H.J.A. Lemmens, B.J. Nijenhuis, J.A. Pascoe, C.A.A.M. Peters, A.W.H. Ravenstijn, E. van Ruitenbeek

Project tutor: ir. J.A. Melkert

Coaches: S. Koussios, ir. H.J.K. Lemmen

The world’s concern for a more sustainable future is becoming more evident each year. Fossil fuels are becoming outdated and the future lies in ecologically sound energy sources such as solar energy. In aviation this trend is still in its early stage. However, more and more technological research is being performed to investigate the possibilities of solar powered aircraft. Furthermore, a growing demand exists in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The market is expected to more than double over the next decade to an estimated value of $55 billion worldwide.

The combination of these two factors has led to the development of the SOLution. The SOLution is a large solar powered model aircraft, which can be used for commercial ends or research activities. Nowadays most aerial observation is done by polluting aircraft or helicopters, which could easily be replaced by an ecologically sound aircraft. Furthermore using an unmanned vehicle would reduce the total costs involved, since no high pilot costs are incurred.
What makes the SOLution unique is the combination of its core competencies. It is sustainable, affordable and will be commercially available. Furthermore it has high performance qualities compared to other solar powered aircraft.

In the following sections the design process leading to the final concept is elaborated, after which the properties and possibilities of the SOLution will be discussed, followed by a conclusion and recommendations. First the requirements will be presented.

The paper of this project is available as a PDF-document here.

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