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Optimal Design of Airfoil with High Aspect Ratio in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Authors: Kyoungwoo Park, Ji-Won Han, Hyo-Jae Lim, Byeong-Sam Kim, Juhee Lee


Shape optimization of the airfoil with high aspect ratio of long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is performed by the multi-objective optimization technology coupled with computational fluid dynamics (CFD). For predicting the aerodynamic characteristics around the airfoil the high-fidelity Navier-Stokes solver is employed and SMOGA (Simple Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm), which is developed by authors, is used for solving the multi-objective optimization problem. To obtain the optimal solutions of the design variable (i.e., sectional airfoil profile, wing taper ratio and sweep) for high performance of UAVs, both the lift and lift-to-drag ratio are maximized whereas the pitching moment should be minimized, simultaneously. It is found that the lift force and lift-to-drag ratio are linearly dependent and a unique and dominant solution are existed. However, a trade-off phenomenon is observed between the lift-to-drag ratio and pitching moment. As the result of optimization, sixty-five (65) non-dominated Pareto individuals at the cutting edge of design spaces that is decided by airfoil shapes can be obtained.

Keywords: Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Airfoil, CFD, Shape optimization, Lift-to-drag ratio.

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