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Subscale flight testing used in conceptual design
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Fluid and Mechatronic Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Fluid and Mechatronic Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Fluid and Mechatronic Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Machine Design. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
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2012 (English)In: AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING AND AEROSPACE TECHNOLOGY, ISSN 1748-8842, Vol. 84, no 3, 192-199 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present the latest subscale demonstrator aircraft developed at Linkoping University. It has been built as part of a study initiated by the Swedish Material Board (FMV) on a Generic Future Fighter aircraft. The paper will cover different aspects of the performed work: from paper study realised by SAAB to the first flight of the scaled demonstrator. The intention of the paper is to describe what has been realised and explain how the work is may be used to fit within aircraft conceptual design. Design/methodology/approach - The approach has been to address the challenges proposed by the customer of the demonstrator, how to design, manufacture and operate a scaled demonstrator of an aircraft study in conceptual design within five months. Similar research projects have been reviewed in order to perform the current work. Findings - The results obtained so far have led to new questions. In particular, the project indicated that more research is needed within the area of subscale flight testing for usage in aircraft conceptual design, since a scaled demonstrator is likely to answer some questions but will probably open up new ones. Research limitations/implications - The current research is just in its infancy and does not bring any final conclusion but does, however, offer several guidelines for future works. Since the aircraft study was an early phase concept study, not much data are available for validation or comparison. Therefore, the paper is not presenting new methods or general conclusions. Practical implications - Results from a conceptual aircraft study and a realisation of a scaled prototype are presented, which show that scaled flight testing may be used with some restriction in conceptual design. Originality/value - The value of this paper is to show that universities can be involved in prototype development and can work in close collaboration with industries to address issues and solutions within aircraft conceptual design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
EMERALD GROUP PUBLISHING LIMITED , 2012. Vol. 84, no 3, 192-199 p.
Keyword [en]
Aircraft; Design; Aerodynamics; Subscale flight testing; Conceptual design; Prototype; Demonstrator
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79714DOI: 10.1108/00022661211222058ISI: 000305871700008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-79714DiVA: diva2:544082
Available from: 2012-08-13 Created: 2012-08-13 Last updated: 2012-10-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Aircraft Design Automation and Subscale Testing: With Special Reference to Micro Air Vehicles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Aircraft Design Automation and Subscale Testing: With Special Reference to Micro Air Vehicles
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation concerns how design automation as well as rapid prototyping and testing of subscale prototypes can support aircraft design. A framework for design automation has been developed and is applied specifically to Micro Air Vehicles (MAV). MAVs are an interesting area for design automation as they are an application where the entire design, from requirements to manufacturing, can indeed be automated. From a complexity point of view it can be considered to be similar to conceptual design of manned aircraft.

The created design optimization framework interfaces several software systems to generate MAVs to optimally fulfil specific mission requirements. The goal has been to find a method for MAV design and optimization from a holistic viewpoint, i.e. not a method for optimizing single subsystems, such as motor or propeller, but a method that embraces all disciplines of MAV design. Key drivers have been the use of off-the-shelf components wherever possible and to optimize the geometric shape not just from an aerodynamic perspective, but also to consider internal component placement and stability criteria. The optimization technique chosen is a multi-objective genetic algorithm. Finally, a novel method for direct digital manufacturing of MAVs is proposed.

The utility of the framework has been demonstrated with several case studies on MAV design. The propulsion system is identified as most influential on MAV performance and thus is where it is most important to have accurate models. For this reason the models used in the framework are experimentally validated. The influence of atmospheric winds and turbulence on MAV performance is also experimentally investigated

The subscale testing efforts are aimed at reducing cost and increasing the usability of flight testing with subscale vehicles. Data acquisition system design is described and low-cost testing methods are presented, such as car top testing or in-flight flow visualization. Two subscale flight projects are also presented.

Abstract [sv]

Den här avhandlingen handlar om hur konstruktionsprocessen av flygplan kan stödjas dels genom förbättrade analysverktyg, s.k.  konstruktionsautomation, och dels genom metoder för att snabbt och billigt kunna tillverka och testa nedskalade prototyper.

Konstruktion av flygplan är ett komplext område som innefattar många tätt sammanlänkade underdiscipliner. Ett lyckat flygplan är således en väl avvägd kompromiss mellan alla dessa discipliner. Dagens hårda konkurrens, krav på miljö, samt tekniska komplexitet ökar kraven på att framtidens flygplan måste vara bättre optimerade än idag. Traditionell flygplanskonstruktion kan ses som en sekventiell process där man stegvis förfinar konstruktionen en disciplin i taget. Med modern datorkraft och beräkningsprogram kan denna process delvis automatiseras varpå man på ett tidigare stadium kan ta hänsyn till fler discipliner. Många av de steg som tidigare genomförts sekventiellt kan nu göras parallellt. Det ökar möjligheten att nå en optimal konstruktion, samt minskar riskerna för att man tidigt bygger in fel i konstruktionen som är kostsamma att rätta till i ett senare skede. I den här avhandlingen beskrivs hur sådan konstruktionsautomation kan genomföras med hjälp av multidisciplinär optimering och en sammankoppling av ett flertal programvaror. Detta har speciellt applicerats på så kallade ”micro air vehicles” (MAV).

En MAV kan beskrivas som en luftfarkost av en sådan storlek att den enkelt kan bäras och skötas av en person. I princip ett flygplan i samma storleksklass som fåglar. I Sverige benämns dessa ofta som ”micro UAV”. Nyttan med MAVs är många sett både från ett militärt och civilt perspektiv. Typiska användningsområden är spaning/övervakning inom polis, militär och räddningsverksamhet, samt kartering, meterologi, gränsbevakning, jordbruksinventering etc. Den konstruktionsautomation som har utvecklats möjliggör att generera MAVs optimerade för givna prestandakrav och önskad nyttolast. I optimeringen så genereras den optimala skrovformen, val av framdrivningssystem, samt placering av interna komponenter. Slutligen så tillverkas den genererade farkosten genom en 3D skrivare. Avhandlingen lägger även vikt vid att experimentellt validera de beräkningar som ligger till grund för optimeringen.

Det andra spåret i avhandlingen behandlar ämnet konceptutvärdering genom nedskalade modeller. Att bygga och testa fysiska modeller är egentligen inget nytt inom flygkonstruktion. Avhandlingen visar dock hur man med modern teknik kan göra detta billigare än tidigare och samtidigt öka nyttan. Miniatyriseringen av elektronik gör att det idag går att utrusta radiostyrda demonstratorer med avancerade mätsystem varpå värdefull data kan insamlas. Vikten av att kunna testa fysiska prototyper ökar alltjämt som flygindustrin blir allt mer teoretisk. Tiden mellan olika flygplanskonstruktioner blir också längre, samt att behovet för nya radikala konstruktioner ökar för att möta de strama miljökraven. Att snabbt och billigt kunna utvärdera prototyper blir därför en allt viktigare del för att hålla kompetensen på en hög nivå. Avhandlingen behandlar skalning, konstruktionsmetoder, instrumentering och testning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. 100 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1480
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-84673 (URN)978-91-7519-788-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-11-23, ACAS, A huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-10-17 Created: 2012-10-17 Last updated: 2012-10-31Bibliographically approved

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Jouannet, ChristopherBerry, PatrickMelin, TomasAmadori, KristianLundström, DavidStaack, Ingo

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