Browse Publications Technical Papers 2020-01-0472

Design Optimization and Aerodynamic Analysis of a Hybrid Blended Wing Body- VTOL Unmanned Aerial Vehicle 2020-01-0472

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can be effectively used to serve humanitarian relief efforts during environmental disasters. Designing such UAVs presents challenges in optimizing design variables such as maximizing endurance, maneuverability and payload capacity with minimum launch and recovery area. The Blended Wing Body (BWB) is a novel aircraft configuration offering enhanced performance over conventional UAVs. Designing a blended wing configuration UAV takes into account interdependency between aerodynamic performance and stability. Designing BWB is peculiar and is investigated in this paper with a view to achieve an aerodynamically stable and structurally sound configuration. The designed UAV is a hybrid of a tailless blended-wing-body and a tri-copter configuration with two forward tilt motors for transition into cruise flight after vertical take-off and back to multirotor while landing (VTOL-Vertical Take Off and Landing). The BWB is iteratively optimized in XFLR-5 for Dynamic and static stability. The wing design was optimized for aerodynamic and structural fitness in MATLAB using Meta-heuristic optimization methodology based on genetic evolutionary algorithm. The 3D CAD design was conceived on SolidWorks and analyzed in Pressure Based Solver. The viscous flow simulations were carried out on the baseline design model using computational fluid dynamics/ Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes for aerodynamic conformity. A three-dimensional (3D) Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study was performed using the k–ω turbulence model in ANSYS Fluent to analyze the aerodynamic characteristics of the UAV. The aerodynamic efficiency of the UAV was increased by 8.34% through introduction of blended winglets.


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