Aerodynamic design and control of tandem wing unmanned aerial vehicle

Kaya, Taşkın
This thesis presents an approach towards the design methodology of electrical propulsion, tandem wing unmanned aerial vehicle. Due to its possible rewarding features, tandem wing design is investigated as the main subject of this study. The stability and control characteristics of tandem wing aircraft are critical since the interference between the two wings may result in nonlinear aerodynamic characteristics for varying angles of attack. Thus, the design of the controller system requires careful handling, in other words, linear aerodynamics envelope is a relatively constrained region for linear autopilot design. Nondimensional aerodynamic coefficients are determined for various angles of attack and flight speeds with CFD analysis using ANSYS Fluent software. Several airframe configurations are analyzed with CFD in consideration with the slotted wing effect. The airframe configuration with the most suitable aerodynamic characteristics is selected based on the CFD results. Three degrees of freedom flight simulation, which involves nonlinear aerodynamics, is used to test the performance of the attitude hold, acceleration and altitude hold autopilots for the selected tandem design. Finally, uncertainties and biases are randomly assigned and modeled with Monte-Carlo analysis to test the robustness of the autopilot and whether designed controllers are still capable of fulfilling mission requirements. Altogether, this study is a comprehensive one, which incorporates conceptual design, aerodynamic design and autopilot design phases of the tandem wing UAV.


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Citation Formats
T. Kaya, “Aerodynamic design and control of tandem wing unmanned aerial vehicle,” Thesis (M.S.) -- Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences. Aerospace Engineering., Middle East Technical University, 2019.