Conceptual design methods for small-scale supersonic uncrewed aerial vehicles

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An investigation of conceptual design methods used for small-scale supersonic uncrewed aerial vehicles (SSUAV) was performed to facilitate future SSUAV design work. Verification and validation analyses of the Stanford University Aerospace Vehicle Environment (SUAVE) was conducted for various fidelity aerodynamics, stability, and propulsion modules. A new weights module, tailored for SSUAV concepts, was developed and implemented into SUAVE. The performance of a new SSUAV concept, the University of Calgary multipurpose unmanned fixed-wing advanced supersonic aircraft (MUFASA), was assessed and compared to two existing designs (GOJETT and M2011). Performance metrics of takeoff distance, maximum flight Mach number, and cruise range were used. As each vehicle design is different, a system was setup to compare them across differing scales. A variety of factors related to this scaling system were examined for their influence on vehicle performance metrics, including off-design turbojet performance, available fuel volume, and predicted empty weights. GOJETT was found to be feasible (capable of completing a full supersonic mission) at a wide range of sizes, while MUFASA required an increase from the existing vehicle size to be feasible. The M2011 did not have any feasible sizes under the system used. The smallest feasible SSUAV was found to have a takeoff mass of 13.41kg.
Aircraft, Conceptual, Design, UAV, Supersonic
Dalman, B. (2021). Conceptual design methods for small-scale supersonic uncrewed aerial vehicles (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from