Design, simulation and analysis of a parallel hybrid electric propulsion system for unmanned aerial vehicles
Hung, Jane Y. & Gonzalez, Luis Felipe (2012) Design, simulation and analysis of a parallel hybrid electric propulsion system for unmanned aerial vehicles. In Proceedings of the 28th International Congress of the Aeronautical Sciences, Optimage Ltd., Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, QLD, pp. 1-13, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, QLD.
Aerial Vehicles (UAV) has become a significant growing segment of the global aviation industry. These vehicles are developed with the intention of operating in regions where the presence of onboard human pilots is either too risky or unnecessary. Their popularity with both the military and civilian sectors have seen the use of UAVs in a diverse range of applications, from reconnaissance and surveillance tasks for the military, to civilian uses such as aid relief and monitoring tasks.
Efficient energy utilisation on an UAV is essential to its functioning, often to achieve the operational goals of range, endurance and other specific mission requirements. Due to the limitations of the space available and the mass budget on the UAV, it is often a delicate balance between the onboard energy available (i.e. fuel) and achieving the operational goals.
This paper presents the development of a parallel Hybrid Electric Propulsion System (HEPS) on a small fixed-wing UAV incorporating an Ideal Operating Line (IOL) control strategy. A simulation model of an UAV was developed in the MATLAB Simulink environment, utilising the AeroSim Blockset and the in-built Aerosonde UAV block and its parameters. An IOL analysis of an Aerosonde engine was performed, and the most efficient (i.e. provides greatest torque output at the least fuel consumption) points of operation for this engine were determined. Simulation models of the components in a HEPS were designed and constructed in the MATLAB Simulink environment. It was demonstrated through simulation that an UAV with the current HEPS configuration was capable of achieving a fuel saving of 6.5%, compared to the ICE-only configuration. These components form the basis for the development of a complete simulation model of a Hybrid-Electric UAV (HEUAV).
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