Jung, S., Lee, T., Mina, T., and Ariyur, K., "Inductive or Magnetic Recharging for Small UAVs," SAE Technical Paper 2012-01-2115, 2012, doi:10.4271/2012-01-2115.
We developed a wireless, contact free power transfer mechanism that is safer and robust to imperfect alignment on landing at the base station and that avoid trips back to the launch sites for recharging off power lines. A magnetic field is created using inductor coils on both the transmitting and receiving sides. We use small induction coils around the UAV to increase efficiency and decrease interference. By locating several of these small inductive coils around our quad-rotor UAV, faster recharging is accomplished in comparison to the use of just one coil. In addition, more coils permit larger voltages for more efficient power transfers. On the base station, several folding robotic arms will be used to realign the receiver coils over the transmitter coils. After adequate recharging as measured by battery voltages or power consumption at the base station, the UAV sends a signal to the base station to open the dome to fly away.