A Mathematical Model of a Conceptual Design Approach of High Altitude Solar Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
High-altitude aircraft flying in the stratosphere (around 20-30 km altitude) can provide a useful platform for sensors to support a range of surveillance tasks. Flying at high altitudes comes with a number of challenges. The air at high altitudes is thin and can considerably impact on the generation of sufficient lift and thrust. Moreover, powering the aircraft by solar energy with the aim of long-term operation adds extra challenges such as power management and system requirements. Therefore, the balancing of the energy and mass is usually taken to initiate the design process. In this paper, an analytical approach has been developed to conceptually design a solar-powered aircraft operating for long endurance at high-altitude. The total mass of the aircraft was defined as the summation of all aircraft elements. Each element was represented as a fraction of the total mass or the required power. These fractions were obtained from existing data of similar solar powered high-altitude UAVs. Also, a study has been conducted to explore the influence of mission requirements such as the flight level, the geographic location and the start & end date of the mission on the main characteristics of the aircraft. The design approach proved its capability by producing acceptable results for the weight and the power of the aircraft elements. This approach facilitates exploring the possible design space for a given mission in which the optimal weight and its corresponding set of characteristics can be easily concluded. The study of the mission parameters shows that designing the aircraft for high altitude operations can lead to a heavier aircraft despite the harvested solar energy at higher altitude being higher. Also, it was shown that the required surface area for solar panels is less than that required to generate adequate lift forces due to low air density. The duration of the daylight hours along with the intensity of solar radiation has a marked influence on achieving the design objective.
Copyright © 2017 Praise Worthy Prize - All rights reserved.
Gao, X.-Z., et al., Energy management strategy for solar-powered high-altitude long-endurance aircraft. Energy Conversion and Management, 2013. 70: p. 20-30.
Alsahlani, A., L.J. Johnston, and P.A. Atcliffe, Design of a High Altitude Long Endurance Flying-wing Solar-Powered Unmanned Air Vehicle. Progress in Flight Physics, 2017. 9: p. 3-24.
Alsahlani, A. and T. Rahulan. Conceptual and Preliminary Design Approach of A High Altitude, Long Endurance Solar-Powered UAVs. in CSE Annual PGR Symposium (CSE-PGSym 17). 2017. Salford, UK: University of Salford
Zhu, X., et al., How High Can Solar-Powered Airplanes Fly. Journal of Aircraft, 2014. 51(No. 5, September–October 2014): p. 1653-1658.
Min Chang, et al., A General Design Methodology for Year-Round Solar-Powered Stratospheric UAVs from Low to Middle Latitudes, in 29th Congress of The international Council of The Aeronautical Sciences. 2014: Russia.
Alsahlani, A. and T. Rahulan, Weight Estimation of a Conceptual Wing for a High Altitude, Solar Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, in 5th Aircraft Structural Design Conference 2016, The Royal Aeronautical Society: Manchester / UK.
Noth(b), A., Design of Solar Powered Airplanes for Continuous Flight. 2008, PhD thesis, ETH ZÜRICH: Switzerland.
Mattos, B.S.d., N.R. Secco, and E.F. Salles, Optimal Design of a High-altitude Solar-Powered Unmanned Airplane. Journal of Aerospace Technology and Management, 2013. 5(3): p. 349-361.
Rizzo, E. and A. Frediani, A model for solar powered aircraft preliminary design. The Aeronautical Journal, 2008(February ): p. 57-87.
Aziz, M., Elsayed, A., CFD Investigations for UAV and MAV Low Speed Airfoils Characteristics, (2015) International Review of Aerospace Engineering (IREASE), 8 (3), pp. 95-100.
Manuel, H., Design, Construction and Test of the Propulsion System of a Solar UAV Thesis, in Aerospace Engineering. 2013, Tecnico Lisboa.
P. Guarino, et al., Design of Solar Powered Ultra-light Aircrafts Realization of a Model and its Validation. International Journal of Energy, 2014. V8.
Duffie, J.A. and W.A. Beckman, Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes. Vol. 3. 1980: Wiley New York etc.
Noth, A., R. Siegwart, and W. Engel, Design of solar powered airplanes for continuous flight. ETHZ lecture, 2008. Version 1.1.
Alsahlani, A. and T. Rahulan. The impact of altitude, latitude, and endurance duration on the design of a high altitude, solar powered unmanned aerial vehicle. in International Conference for Students on Applied Engineering (ISCAE), IEEE. 2016. Newcastle / UK: IEEE.
Guarino, G.C., et al., Multiobjective Optimization for Electric Drives Design in Solar-Powered Ultralight Aircrafts. Recent Advances in Systems Science, ISBN, 2013: p. 978-960.
Montagnier, O. and L. Bovet. Optimisation of a solar-powered high altitude long endurance UAV. in Proceedings of the 27th International Congress of the Aeronautical Sciences, Nice, France. 2010.
Cestino, E., Design of solar high altitude long endurance aircraft for multi payload & operations. Aerospace Science & Technology, 2006. 10(6): p. 541-550.
Cestino, E., G. Frulla, and G. Romeo, Design of a High-Altitude Long-Endurance Solar-Powered Unmanned Air Vehicle for Multi-Payload and Operations. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 2007. 221(2): p. 199-216.
Romeo, G., M. Pacino, and F. Borello, First flight of scaled electric solar powered UAV for Mediterranean Sea border surveillance forest and fire monitoring. The Journal of Aerospace Science, Technology and Systems, 2009. 88(1-2): p. 8-19.
- There are currently no refbacks.
Please send any question about this web site to firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2005-2019 Praise Worthy Prize