Design and analysis of solar UAV
Keywords:UAV, Solar Energy, UAV WING, CFD
With a rising environmental awareness and the need for a long endurance surveillance and communications platform, the research into a renewable-energy-powered UAV is being vigorously pursued. However, due to the current technological limitations of renewable energy, solar power is the most feasible alternate source for powering UAVs. Long range or long endurance or both can be achieved by using solar power and high energy density batteries. Hence, solar powered UAVs are becoming more popular. For a surveillance UAV, a low altitude is preferred to avoid any cloud interference that could adversely affect the mission. Thus, the main objective of this study is to design and analyse Low Altitude Long Endurance [LALE] solar UAV with an endurance of around 24 hours. Different airfoil wing designs were selected from literature and others based on their performance data. Solar cell and battery specifications played an important role in wing design and achieving a 24-hour endurance. The empennage design was carried out based on the wing geometric parameters and literature survey. Furthermore, CFD analysis was performed to study the longitudinal and lateral stability characteristics of the UAV.
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