ETD system

Electronic theses and dissertations repository


Tesi etd-05212011-180923

Thesis type
Tesi di laurea specialistica
Airfoil Optimization for a Solar Powered Aircraft
Corso di studi
relatore Lombardi, Giovanni
relatore González Hernández, Miguel Ángel
correlatore Denti, Eugenio
Parole chiave
  • solar aircraft
  • low Reynolds
  • airfoil
Data inizio appello
Data di rilascio
Riassunto analitico
The problem of polluting emissions and the need to reduce crude oil dependency had led to the search for alternative solutions also in aeronautics. One of them is represented by solar powered aircrafts, which show both the advantages of solar energy, clean and renewable, and the unmanned vehicle’s benefits.
As a consequence this kind of plane presents specific features which need to develop particular techniques to realize them.
This work of thesis is part of a project whose aim is the production of a solar powered aircraft with unlimited autonomy and the research is in particular connected with the design and tests of the low Reynolds number airfoil family.
The first chapter will introduce how solar energy can be used to propel a plane and which the advantages show by an aircraft without pilot are.
The second chapter will illustrate the theoretical background of an aerodynamic body and which parameters influence it, taking into account especially the Reynolds number.
The third chapter will explain the procedure and the software used to design and to analyze different airfoil configurations for the solar aircraft.
In chapter four, five, six and seven the computational and experimental results obtained for the current airfoil of the prototype and for its modifications respectively in the lower surface, in the leading edge and in the trailing edge, will show and analyze. Moreover the eighth chapter will investigate the effect of a combination of these modifications.
The last chapter will summarize all results and the best configuration of the airfoil will be presented.