Small, hybrid-powered, manpackable UAV is goal of Air Force SURGE-V program

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WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 2 Feb. 2011. U.S. Air Force researchers are asking industry to build a hybrid-powered manpackable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that weighs less than 20 pounds and is able to carry a 4-pound electro-optical payload on missions over rough terrain lasting at least four hours. This small UAV must be able to be carried and operated by only one person on battlefield situational awareness missions.

The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, released a broad agency announcement (BAA-11-01-PKP) last Friday for the Small Unmanned Renewable enerGy long Endurance Vehicle (SURGE-V) program. The goal is to develop a hybrid power/propulsion system for small UAVs.

The SURGE-V hybrid-powered UAV must be able to land on rough terrain, and operate in winds stronger than 35 knots, in temperatures as cold as 30 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, and at altitudes as high as 25,000 feet in sandy, dusty conditions, as well as in fog, light rain and snow, and high humidity.

The SURGE-V program is in three parts. First, the program seeks to design a hybrid propulsion system that runs on renewable energy. Second, the program will concentrate on demonstrating the integrated power system and payload on a SURGE-V UAV. Third, the program will conduct flight demonstrations of the integrated system.

The total cost of the program will be about $2.2 million, Air Force officials say.

Companies interested should respond no later than 11 March 2011, to the Air Force Research Laboratory, Propulsion Directorate, AFRL/RZPS Thermal & Electrochemical Branch, 1950 Fifth St., Bldg 18, Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45440-7251.

For technical questions or concerns contact the Air Force's Mike Rottmayer by e-mail at, or by post at Air Force Research Laboratory, 1950 Fifth St., Bldg 18, Wright Patterson AFB, OH 45433.

For contracting questions contact the Air Force's Charlotte Chumack by e-mail at, or by post to Det 1 AFRL/PKPA, Charlotte Chumack, Contracting Officer, 2310 Eight St., Bldg 167, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433-7801.

More information is online at

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