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Robust design and optimization of UAV empennage

Witold Artur Klimczyk (MEiL, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland)
Zdobyslaw Jan Goraj (Department of Aircraft Design, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 3 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address the issue of designing aerodynamically robust empennage. Aircraft design optimization often narrowed to analysis of cruise conditions does not take into account other flight phases (manoeuvres). These, especially in unmanned air vehicle sector, can be significant part of the whole flight. Empennage is a part of the aircraft, with crucial function for manoeuvres. It is important to consider robustness for highest performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Methodology for robust wing design is presented. Surrogate modelling using kriging is used to reduce the optimization cost for high-fidelity aerodynamic calculations. Analysis of varying flight conditions, angle of attack, is made to assess robustness of design for particular mission. Two cases are compared: global optimization of 11 parameters and optimization divided into two consecutive sub-optimizations.

Findings

Surrogate modelling proves its usefulness for cutting computational time. Optimum design found by splitting problem into sub-optimizations finds better design at lower computational cost.

Practical implications

It is demonstrated, how surrogate modelling can be used for analysis of robustness, and why it is important to consider it. Intuitive split of wing design into airfoil and planform sub-optimizations brings promising savings in the optimization cost.

Originality/value

Methodology presented in this paper can be used in various optimization problems, especially those involving expensive computations and requiring top quality design.

Keywords

Citation

Klimczyk, W.A. and Goraj, Z.J. (2017), "Robust design and optimization of UAV empennage", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 89 No. 4, pp. 609-619. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-11-2016-0221

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited