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Nevada Dynamics Spatial Delivery
AdvisorGeiger, Emil J.
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Nevada Dynamics has designed an adaptable Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) charging station that is capable of safely charging Lithium Polymer batteries through copper contacts while simultaneously allowing for a package to be housed below the UAV. The UAV industry is rapidly growing; however, there are strict regulations of their use due to safety concerns. If companies could ensure that their UAV’s battery is charged so that important safety features remain on, the regulations may begin to lessen. While there are multiple UAV charging stations on the market currently, none of the existing designs allow UAV’s carrying packages to charge their batteries without human interaction. Nevada Dynamics’ final charging station completes the goal of expanding the UAV industry by allowing delivery UAVs to recharge without damaging the package housed below the UAV. By analyzing the competition, the team was able to define the remaining key functions required for the charging station to be a success. Building upon the key functions, several designs were considered, and each design iteration was analyzed to create the optimal design seen in Figure 1. Several potential designs were generated in the preliminary design work for the charging station that were then translated into 3D models. Converting the conceptual designs into simplistic 3D models solidified the customer requirements, which were then converted into engineering specifications. The final hoop and contact design was selected based on the results of the engineering analysis, budget constraints, and time constraints. The main concern with the hoop and contact design centered on how the theory of electrical contacts transfers to real world application. These concerns were combated by building a proof of concept that focused on the application of copper contacts. The data from the proof of concept affirmed the theory that copper contact points would provide a strong enough connection to charge a Lithium Polymer battery. The final design combines the copper contacts with 3D printed parts to create the main portions of the charging station. The final design parts were printed partly in Nevada Dynamic’s lab with a 3D printer and the team’s mentor, Andrew Smith, printed the remaining parts. Once the 3D printed parts were complete, the team built the remaining portion of the station and built the hexacopter frame that was used for testing. The tests performed involved checking the copper contacts and establishing a method of checking the alignment of the UAV on the station. Overall, the testing of the final prototype revealed that Nevada Dynamics’ charging station design met all the engineering specifications created by the team. Nevada Dynamic’s work over the past two semesters has proven worthwhile with the creation of a fully functioning UAV charging station. The station is able to detect if the UAV is aligned, can charge a Lithium Polymer battery using copper contacts, and allows room for a package below the UAV. Additionally, by building the hexacopter frame, it was proven that a UAV can fly with the copper contacts and additional hardware that the charging station requires.