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Solar Powered Airship Drone



The Solar Powered Airship for Heavy Cargo Transportation was developed at NASA Langley Research Center in 2011 with support from the DoT. 

It is equipped with two side propulsion propellers in the front and rear, eight trailer cargoes, 384 solar cells, and four rotating vector propulsion with 16" propellers in shrouds.

It has the capability of lifting 10kg (22 lbs.) in neutral buoyancy without energy consumption and 30kg (66 lbs.) in maximum thrust in quad-copter mode. It regenerated more than one kW of electric power every second, extending maximum flight time to one week. The airship is capable of withstanding up to 30 mph wind speeds. The innovative 10 degree of freedom tilt-rotor propulsion allows easy movement in the air. This Unmanned Solar Airship System (USAS) is capable of flying as a conventional dirigible, VTOL aircraft, quad-copter, hovercraft, and XYZ-flight humming bird.

Advertisement Airship Drone



Debuting at AUVSI Xponential 2017, the Advertisement Airship was developed in 2017 and is capable of projecting visual images onto the drone for up to an hour. The airship can stay afloat for 3-4 days using a helium filled balloon and is controlled via the four attached propellers. It can withstand up to 10 mph wind speeds.  The flight time of this drone can be extended by placing solar cells on the top or power tethering.

While advertisement is the main purpose of the airship, the frame design allows additional sensors to be added and can be used in a mulittude of ways such as data gathering and surveying.

Drone with Robotic Arm Attachment



This drone utilizes a robotic arm to repair or grab things in high places.  It requires two operators in order for the robotic arm to be used, one to control the arm and one to control the drone.  The drone comes equipped with a LiDAR sensor, which is used for measuring the distance of objects in front of the drone, and a camera for the operators to see what they are doing.  A 9 foot blimp can be attached to the drone to increase the stability and the flight time of this drone that is filled with Helium.