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Effect of power system technology and mission requirements on high altitude long endurance aircraftAn analysis was performed to determine how various power system components and mission requirements affect the sizing of a solar powered long endurance aircraft. The aircraft power system consists of photovoltaic cells and a regenerative fuel cell. Various characteristics of these components, such as PV cell type, PV cell mass, PV cell efficiency, fuel cell efficiency, and fuel cell specific mass, were varied to determine what effect they had on the aircraft sizing for a given mission. Mission parameters, such as time of year, flight altitude, flight latitude, and payload mass and power, were also altered to determine how mission constraints affect the aircraft sizing. An aircraft analysis method which determines the aircraft configuration, aspect ratio, wing area, and total mass, for maximum endurance or minimum required power based on the stated power system and mission parameters is presented. The results indicate that, for the power system, the greatest benefit can be gained by increasing the fuel cell specific energy. Mission requirements also substantially affect the aircraft size. By limiting the time of year the aircraft is required to fly at high northern or southern latitudes, a significant reduction in aircraft size or increase in payload capacity can be achieved.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Colozza, Anthony J.
(Sverdrup Technology, Inc. Brook Park, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 1994
Subject Category
Aircraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.26:194455
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 537-10-20
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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