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Optimization of turboprop ESFC and NOx emissions for UAV sizing

Ali Dinc (Tusas Engine Industries Inc., Eskisehir, Turkey)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




This paper aims to present a genuine code developed for multi-objective optimization of selected parameters of a turboprop unmanned air vehicle (UAV) for minimum landing-takeoff (LTO) nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and minimum equivalent power specific fuel consumption (ESFC) at loiter (aerial reconnaissance phase of flight) by using a genetic algorithm.


The genuine code developed in this study first makes computations on preliminary sizing of a UAV and its turboprop engine by analytical method for a given mission profile. Then, to minimize NOx emissions or ESFC or both of them, single and multi-objective optimization was done for the selected engine design parameters.


In single objective optimization, NOx emissions were reduced by 49 per cent from baseline in given boundaries or constraints of compressor pressure ratio and compressor polytropic efficiency in the first case. In second case, ESFC was improved by 25 per cent from baseline. In multi-objective optimization case, where previous two objectives were considered together, NOx emissions and ESFC decreased by 26.6 and 9.5 per cent from baseline, respectively.

Practical implications

Variation and trend in the NOx emission index and ESFC were investigated with respect to two engine design parameters, namely, compressor pressure ratio and compressor polytropic efficiency. Engine designers may take into account the findings of this study to reach a viable solution for the bargain between NOx emission and ESFC.


UAVs have different flight mission profiles or characteristics compared to manned aircraft. Therefore, they are designed in a different philosophy. As a number of UAV flights increase in time, fuel burn and LTO NOx emissions worth investigating due to operating costs and environmental reasons. The study includes both sizing and multi-objective optimization of an UAV and its turboprop engine in coupled form; compared to manned aircraft.



Disclaimer: The study, views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the official policy or position of ALP Aviation or any other company and institution.


Dinc, A. (2017), "Optimization of turboprop ESFC and NOx emissions for UAV sizing", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 89 No. 3, pp. 375-383.



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