Please support the campaign on Indiegogo: https://igg.me/at/cycloblimp/x/10619348
My team composed of University of Maryland undergraduate and graduate students want to demonstrate the viability of a solar-rechargeable cyclocopter blimp (Cyclo-Blimp) configuration for future humanitarian missions. Cyclo-Blimp can be used for disaster relief efforts such as surveillance for people trapped in inaccessible areas and delivery of critical medical supplies. With solar-recharging capability, the vehicle would be able to maintain longer flight times and cover longer distances. As an electric vehicle with cyclorotor propulsion system, Cyclo-Blimp has zero carbon emissions and low acoustics which allows it to operate in urban environments.
I've previously demonstrated that the cyclorotor is capable of providing vectored thrust and is more efficient than conventional propellers with similar disk loading at small scales. With reduced acoustics, Cyclo-Blimp could operate in urban settings. Here is a video of a successful stable flight:
If funded, we would like to reach out to form an interdisciplinary team. Our goal is to successfully develop the Cyclo-Blimp for disaster relief efforts and also provide an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience. Some of our members were part of the solar powered helicopter team (formerly Gamera, the human powered helicopter team):
Thanks for looking! Please spread info about our campaign :) Once we get to $1,000 in contributions, we're hoping to reach out to major companies.