Conceptual Design of a Hybrid (Turbofan/solar) Powered UAV

Mermer, Erdinç
Özgen, Serkan
The aim of the study is to design a HALE UAV using both turbofan engine and solar energy in order to obtain at least 24 hours endurance with 250 kg camera and 750 kg battery total 1000 kg payload capacity and 6096m (20000 ft) to 9144 m (30000 ft) service ceiling. During daytime, required power is obtained from solar panels. Morover, excess solar energy is used for charging the lithium-ion battery. It is assumed that turbofan engine is used only for climbing to the required altitude. During loiter, only solar energy and battery power are used. The design methodology consists of two main parts. In the first part, typical conceptual design methodology is used. Weight analysis, wing loading and thrust loading, required power analysis, aircraft performance analysis are performed. While performing the conceptual design, aircraft is assumed as a turbofan-powered aircraft. Due to long wingspan and large wing area, typical structural weight determination techniques are not suitable for the HALE UAV. Therefore, a new structural weight prediction model is used. In the second part of the thesis, solar energy and battery energy are examined in order to assess whether endurance and service ceiling requirements are satisfied. Solar radiation model is used for verification.
Citation Formats
E. Mermer and S. Özgen, “Conceptual Design of a Hybrid (Turbofan/solar) Powered UAV,” presented at the 7th European Conference for Aeronautics and Space Sciences, Milan, İtaly, (3 - 06 Temmuz 2017), Milan, İtalya, 2017, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: