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AERODYNAMIC ANALYSIS OF THE JOINED-WING CONFIGURATION OF A HIGH-ALTITUDE, LONG ENDURANCE (HALE) AIRCRAFT

by SIVAJI, RANGARAJAN

Abstract (Summary)
The three-dimensional, unsteady, flow is simulated over the joined-wing section of a HALE (High-Altitude Long Endurance) aircraft based on the Sensorcraft configuration. This is the first step in the high-fidelity, nonlinear aeroelastic analysis of the HALE aircraft. These vehicles operate in a high-altitude, low-density, low-Reynolds number (Re) environment. Also, the sensor Equipment housed within the wings requires the sections to be thick. In order to produce the necessary lift, the wings of these aircraft are made extremely long compared to the average chord of the wing section, leading to aspect ratios typically around 25. The fluid loads experienced by the structure result in these high-aspect ratio wings undergoing large deflections. These can cause appreciable change in the geometry, and hence, in the corresponding flow, and necessitate an aeroelastic analysis. The flow solution is obtained by solving the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) governing equations, using the Spalart-Allmaras turbulence model, or by using Detached Eddy Simulation (DES). The flow solver, COBALT60 is a finite-volume, cell-centered, second-order accurate in space and time, unstructured-grid flow solver. With successful completion of the validation cases, simulations were performed at the lower and upper limits (M = 0.4-0.6, ? = 0-12°) of the operating regime of the Sensorcraft. Inviscid simulations were also considered as a computationally efficient alternative to viscous simulations for the computation of the surface pressure loads to be applied on the structure, particularly at low angle of attack (? = 0°). This is verified by performing inviscid simulations, and comparing the resulting pressure with the corresponding viscous results at the Mach number of 0.6. The surface pressure comparison is satisfactory for this low angle of attack (? = 0°), whereas at ? = 12°, the presence of flow separation in the joint region, and a mild oblique shock at the trailing edge of the aft wing in the joint region results in significant viscous effects. A procedure has been set up for the preliminary process of load transfer to the joined-wing structure. The study serves as the foundation to provide an integrated aerodynamic and structural analyses software using a Multi-Disciplinary Computing Environment (MDICE) to predict the aeroelastic behavior of lifting bodies.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Cincinnati

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:aerodynamic analysis joined wing hale

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2004

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