A Mathematical Model of a Conceptual Design Approach of High Altitude Solar Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Alsahlani, A ORCID: 0000-0002-1675-5876 and Rahulan, T 2017, 'A Mathematical Model of a Conceptual Design Approach of High Altitude Solar Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicles' , International Review of Aerospace Engineering (IREASE), 10 (4) , p. 196.

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Abstract

In this paper, an analytical approach has been developed to design a high altitude solar-powered aircraft, for a given mission at a conceptual design stage. The mass and power of each aircraft component are estimated as a constant fraction of either the structural mass, the total mass or the total power requirements. These fractions are evaluated statistically from data published for existing data of solar powered high-altitude UAVs. Also, a study has been conducted to explore the influence of the reference altitude, latitude, endurance on the weight of aircraft and its other main characteristics. The study aims at designing a high altitude long endurance solar powered aircraft for a surveillance mission to carry a 100 kg payload and operate over a particular area in Iraq which lies between latitudes 290 N and 380 N. The design approach has proved its capability by producing acceptable results for the weight and the power of each aircraft component. This approach also 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 shows that increasing the reference altitude can lead to a heavier aircraft in spite of the high levels of the available solar energy that can be harvested. Nevertheless, the surface area required for solar power generation is less than that needed to obtain sufficient lift when the aircraft was designed to operate at higher altitudes. Furthermore, the daytime period showed a noticeable influence besides the available solar energy in the achievement of the design aims.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Journal or Publication Title: International Review of Aerospace Engineering (IREASE)
Publisher: Praise Worthy Prize
ISSN: 1973-7440
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Mr Ahmad Alsahlani
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2017 14:14
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2017 04:16
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/43770

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