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Optimal external configuration design of missiles

Tanıl, Çağatay
The main area of emphasis in this study is to investigate the methods and technology for aerodynamic configuration sizing of missiles and to develop a software platform in MATLAB® environment as a design tool which has an ability of optimizing the external configuration of missiles for a set of flight requirements specified by the user through a graphical user interface. A genetic algorithm based optimization tool is prepared by MATLAB is expected to help the designer to find out the best external geometry candidates in the conceptual design stage. Missile DATCOM software package is employed to predict the aerodynamic coefficients needed in finding the performance merits of a missile for each external geometry candidate by integrating its dynamic equations of motion. Numerous external geometry candidates are rapidly eliminated according to objectives and constraints specified by designers, which provide necessary information in preliminary design. In this elimination, the external geometry candidates are graded according to their flight performances in order to discover an optimum solution. In the conceptual design, the most important performance objectives related to the external geometry of a missile are range, speed, maneuverability, and control effectiveness. These objectives are directly related to the equations of motion of the missile, concluding that the speed and flight range are related to the total mass and the drag-to-lift ratio acting on missile. Also, maneuverability depends on the normal force acting on missile body and mass whereas the control effectiveness is affected by pitching moment and mass moment of inertia of missile. All of the flight performance data are obtained by running a two degree-of-freedom simulation. In order to solve the resulting multi-objective optimization problem with a set of constraint of linear and nonlinear nature and in equality and inequality forms, genetic-algorithm-based methods are applied. Hybrid encoding methods in which the integer configuration variables (i.e., nose shape and control type) and real-valued geometrical dimension (i.e., diameter, length) parameters are encoded in the same individual chromosome. An external configuration design tool (EXCON) is developed as a synthesis and external sizing tool for the subsonic cruise missiles. A graphical user interface (GUI), a flight simulator and optimization modules are embedded into the tool. A numerical example, the re-configuration problem of an anti-ship cruise missile Harpoon, is presented to demonstrate the accuracy and feasibility of the conceptual design tool. The optimum external geometries found for different penalty weights of penalty terms in the cost function are compared according to their constraint violations and launch mass values. By means of using EXCON, the launch mass original baseline Harpoon is reduced by approximately 30% without deteriorating the other flight performance characteristics of the original Harpoon.