Project Hex Power Distribution Board - Sheffield


Project Hex is the University of Sheffield's entry to the IMechE UAS Challenge. Every year, we design and manufacture a fully autonomous hexacopter that is capable of multiple payload drops and target recognition. The competition takes place in June, with universities from across the UK and the rest of the world taking part.

Our team is made up of approximately 20 engineering students from many different disciplines - Aerospace, Mechanical, Electrical, Control Systems and even Chemical. Every year, we strive to be as innovative as possible, which is why we have decided to design our own custom power distribution board.


A power distribution board onboard a multirotor is used to distribute power from the battery to the motors. In previous years, we have used an off-the-shelf design which has done just that. However, this led to serious issues with cable management and also reduced the usable space we had in the central hub of our hexacopter. In previous years we have also had separate current and voltage sensors as well as separate voltage regulators.

We decided it would be a good idea to integrate all of these separate components onto one circuit board. Our power distribution board is able to monitor the voltage and current drawn from the battery and also has a 5V voltage regulator that can output up to 5A. It also has signal traces for each motor. The board is connected to the flight controller using a single connector. This massively reduces the required cable management and also saves on weight which is very important for multirotors.

The PDB:



PCBWay is our PCB manufacturer of choice. We've already used them to produce a test board for the voltage regulator section of our PDB. They quote quickly, always answer questions in a timely manner and manufacture and deliver at a very acceptable speed, especially since the boards are coming from China.

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Mar 18,2019
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