Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Brian Landrum

Committee Member

Gang Wang

Committee Member

Farbod Fahimi


Piezoelectric devices, Energy harvesting


Application of a galloping piezoelectric energy harvester (GPEH) on a small unmanned aerial vehicle is presented. The GPEH is composed of a bluff body on a cantilever with an attached piezoelectric material strip. Incident air induces oscillatory motion of the bluff body and beam, creating oscillatory stress in the piezoelectric strip that generates a current. Modeling the GPEH as a mass-spring system enabled estimating the natural oscillation frequency, activation or galloping speed, and hysteresis range speeds. These values were verified through wind tunnel testing and UAV flight tests with a GPEH mounted at three distances below each wing. Flight speed and wing proximity had the most significant influence on performance. Cruise flight produced the highest voltage of 16.3 volts and a calculated power of 0.0027 W. Adding additional piezoelectric strips with multiple GPEH systems might generate power fro driving sensors.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.