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Press Release

ELECTROFLUIDSYSTEMS SHOWS DETAILED DESIGN OF PRE-SERIAL PLASMAFALCON AND PLASMARAY MINI UAV SYSTEMS

Berlin, 7 September 2020 - Electrofluidsystems shows detailed design of pre-serial PlasmaFalcon and PlasmaRay mini UAV systems for ISR and logistics or package transport missions. Both systems with 1.11 m wingspan will have their first public flights in 2021. The market entry is scheduled for end of 2021-2022.


Electrofluidsystems selected the dual electro-optical/infrared (EO-IR) stabilized NextVision Colibri 2 and NightHawk 2 cameras for both mini UAV systems which have a NVIDIA AI computer with six 220 degree fisheye navigation cameras based on Sony IMX 586 (686/786) image sensors with 48 mp (64/108mp) to capture 360 degree videos.



PlasmaRay class of mini UAVs with 1.11m wingspan

The first pre-serial prototypes of the PlasmaRay with 1.11 m wingspan will use 12 electric ducted fan (EDF) jets from Schuebeler (DS-30-AXI HDS) and three kind of different brushless electric motors. There will be two basic versions for the PlasmaRay: 

1. PlasmaRay 1.11 will use four LiPo batteries with each 426 Wh (23 Ah, 5s) with a specific energy of 205 Wh/kg to power all of the 12 EDF jets for horizontal flight and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). The total energy storage is 1704 Wh for a constant specific energy of 205 Wh/kg. A first low-cost prototype will be built using modern 3D-printers. The pre-serial prototypes will have a state-of-the-art prepreg structure. 

2. H2PlasmaRay 1.11 will use two 800 W fuel cell power modules from Intelligent Energy with four liters of hydrogen (1412 Wh) stored in two 300 bar tanks with each 2 liters to power two of the 12 EDF jets for horizontal flight. The specific energy for the overall H2-system with fuel cells, hybrid batteries, hydrogen regulators and tanks is 249 Wh/kg. Two additional LiPo batteries with each 204 Wh (11 Ah, 5s) and a specific energy of 192 Wh/kg will provide power for 10 of the 12 EDF jets for 2 min VTOL. The total energy storage is 1661 Wh for an average specific energy of 213 Wh/kg. 

The specific energy for the H2-system is getting much better for the next bigger scale models of the air taxi concept shown below. The H2PlasmaRay 1.66 for instance as a 1:4 scale model will use two 2.4 kW fuel cell power modules from Intelligent Energy. Ten of these 4.8 kW fuel cell pairs (2.4 kW + 2.4 kW) will be used in the air taxi H2PlasmaRay 6.66 which stands for regional air mobility and sustainability as hydrogen is the future for a zero-carbon aviation. 




'Water will be the coal of the future.' Jules Verne, The Mysterious Island, 1874




PlasmaFalcon class of mini UAVs with 1.11m wingspan

The first pre-serial prototype has a Colibri 2 camera integrated in the nose section. It has the nickname 'CoronaBat' as it looks like a flying bat. The first 5.6 kg system will have an endurance of 90 minutes and a range of 160 km (100 miles). The 6.6 kg version with the optional eVTOL update kit has an endurance of +60 minutes and a range of 100 km (75 miles) at 130 km/h (80 mph) cruise speeds. 


There will be four pre-serial prototypes for the PlasmaFalcon class with Colibri 2 and NightHawk 2 cameras in nose and underbody configurations. 



Only the CoronaBat UAS will use sliding discharge plasma actuators and generators which were developed by Berkant Göksel during his doctoral study at TU Berlin. The high-end version will have a nano carbon graphene skin and the capability to be launched in swarms from high-altitude platform stations (HAPS). A swarm of four vehicles with a three wingspan distance in diamond formation would have about 50% less total drag. So all following vehicles would have a longer range. By repeated change of the lead position the range of all vehicles can be similarly extended. In a V-type formation with three vehicles the overall drag reduces by 35% followed by an echelon formation with two vehicles with about 25% drag reduction.



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