Aerodynamic optimization of missile external configurations

Arslan, Kıvanç
In this thesis, design optimization methods capable of optimizing aerodynamic performances of missiles and rockets are developed. Sequential Quadratic Programming (SQP) and Random Search (RS) methods are used for optimization, whereas Missile DATCOM, which is a semi-empirical aerodynamic analysis tool, is used to calculate aerodynamic coefficients of missile configurations. As the first part of the work, capabilities and limitations of SQP and RS optimization methods are investigated on a complex test function. In addition to that, a validation for aerodynamic analysis tool is done. Then, using reverse engineering approach, aerodynamic performance parameters of “NASA Tandem Control Missile” (TCM) configuration are defined as objectives to the developed design optimization method with the aim of reaching TCM configuration at the end of aerodynamic performance optimization process. Geometric properties and aerodynamic performance parameters of the optimum configurations obtained using the developed design method are compared to the ones of the TCM configuration. Moreover, an optimization case study for a generic air-to-ground missile is carried out. It is concluded that the developed design optimization method is able to determine missile external configurations for pre-defined aerodynamic performance parameters.