An unmanned aerial vehicle that uses wind power like a bird

Dec 14, 2011
Wesam Al Sabban was awarded a Genius Prize for his Green Falcon 11, a wind and solar powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Queensland University of Technology PhD student Wesam Al Sabban is a genius and has the medal to prove it!

The received the accolade for his work on the design of an (UAV) that would be powered by the sun and wind.

"While all aeroplanes mimic the shape of birds, the Green Falcon II will literally use the wind to power its movement, just as a bird would," Mr Al Sabban said.

"As part of my PhD topic we are studying the way birds make use of to fly with minimum power, the way they glide and use all types of wind to move and change their .

"We're developing a UAV with artificial intelligence to forecast solar intensity and use for path planning and to power the UAV.

"Quite frankly, we expect it to fly like the wind and because it will run on solar and wind power it'll be cheaper to operate than similar sized UAVs on the market."

While a final design is about eighteen months away, Mr Al Sabban was presented with a trio of awards at the recent 63rd iENA International Trade Fair, a mega inventors' showcase held each year in Nuremberg, Germany.

He was awarded an independent inventor iENA Gold Medal, a certificate from the International Federation of Inventors Association (IFIA) for outstanding achievement in a world competition for green inventions and was awarded an honorary Genius Prize from the Association of Hungarian Inventors (MAFE) – the only Genius Prize awarded this year.

At the trade fair, Mr Al Sabban's invention competed with more than 750 others from 30 countries.

Other notable products to come out of previous trade fairs include the skateboard, suitcase on wheels and a folding bicycle.

"We're very interested in green technology and for a number of years we have been working on a UAV to mimic the way birds fly so Wesam's success is a fabulous result," said his PhD supervisor at QUT Dr Felipe Gonzalez.

Dr Gonzalez, a QUT Aerospace Avionics lecturer based at the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA) said the awards illustrated the world-class research of QUT in , unmanned systems for civilian applications and aerospace avionics.

"The Green Falcon II will be a zero-emissions UAV capable of round-the-clock service," he said.

"It could potentially assist with powerlines inspection, disaster relief, 3D mine mapping and similar scanning uses."

"The iENA awards prove there is a market for efficient UAV development and we'll be looking for partners to turn this unique UAV design into a commercial reality by 2013."

Mr Al Sabban, a Saudi Arabian engineer, moved to Queensland in 2007 to further his engineering education. He was sponsored by the Government of Saudi Arabia as well as ARCAA to present his Green Falcon II at the iENA trade fair.

Explore further: Printing the metals of the future

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Boeing ScanEagle to Achieve European Air Show First

Jul 18, 2005

Boeing ScanEagle will become the first fixed wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to fly at a European public air show, when it takes to the skies at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford, July 16 - 17. ...

Major wind energy fair opens in Germany

Sep 21, 2010

The world's leading wind energy trade fair opened in Germany on Tuesday, organisers said, with close to 1,000 exhibitors from around 70 countries expected to draw some 30,000 visitors.

Recommended for you

Tiny UAVs and hummingbirds are put to test

1 hour ago

Hummingbirds in nature exhibit expert engineering skills, the only birds capable of sustained hovering. A team from the US, British Columbia, and the Netherlands have completed tests to learn more about the ...

Printing the metals of the future

Jul 29, 2014

3-D printers can create all kinds of things, from eyeglasses to implantable medical devices, straight from a computer model and without the need for molds. But for making spacecraft, engineers sometimes need ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Isaacsname
not rated yet Dec 14, 2011
Ahh yes, see ? There is more than one way to skin a cat. Why only try for solar, or only try for wind ? There's even more after that....
tadchem
4 / 5 (4) Dec 14, 2011
And here I was thinking that only the Nobel Peace prize was awarded for 'potential accomplishment.'
Shifty0x88
not rated yet Dec 14, 2011
That UAV is awesome! What a great design!