Conceptual design of a stealth unmanned combat aerial vehicle with multidisciplinary design optimization

Çakın, Uğur
The present study aims to develop a methodology for multi-disciplinary design optimization (MDO) of an unmanned combat aerial vehicle. At the current stage of optimization study, three disciplines are considered, which are aerodynamics, structural weight and radar cross section (RCS) signature. As objective functions, maximum range and minimum RCS signature are employed. To generate pareto-optimal solutions, multi-objective particle swarm optimization (MOPSO) function of MATLAB® is performed. To get aerodynamic coefficients of generated UCAV geometries, a high-fidelity aerodynamic analysis tool SU2 is employed. Moreover, to shorten computational effort, firstly, a meta-model for aerodynamic results is formed by performing multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS) approximation. Structural and system weights are estimated by using statistical weight equations. After that, by using aerodynamic coefficients and estimated total weight, range is calculated. RCS signature values are calculated by conducting POFACETS which is an implementation of the physical optics approximation for predicting RCS of complex objects. Also, meta-model of RCS results is generated for decreasing the computational time. Finally, the developed framework is performed to optimize a UCAV planform as an example of the framework’s capability. The pareto-front results for MDO computations are presented in detail at results and discussion.