Army Research Laboratory has invested $8M in the University of Illinois Chicago for research that would explore recharging technologies for unmanned air vehicles.
The cooperative agreement, issued in August, would support the design of ground vehicles where UAVs would mount on to autonomously recharge, the U.S. Army said Monday. The university will create and provide algorithms that would shape route planning for the battery-powered UAVs and corresponding ground vehicles.
“With this research project, we’re operationalizing scientific endeavors to increase Soldier readiness on the battlefields of tomorrow," said Mike Kweon, who manages ARL’s Versatile Tactical Power and Propulsion Essential Research Program.
The Army also seeks to develop small fuel sensors that would support hybrid-electric propulsion systems for larger UAVs. Work under the ARL-funded research begins this fall and aligns with the Army's Future Vertical Lift modernization program.