Optimal speed scheduling for hybrid solar aircraft with arrival time condition

John J. Bird, Jack W. Langelaan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Improvements in solar cell weight and performance has enabled the development of small solar powered aircraft which operate at low altitudes. Unlike high altitude pseu-dosatellites, these aircraft must contend with significant stochastic variations in wind and solar energy. This paper examines speed scheduling for solar augmented aircraft (i.e. an aircraft equipped with solar panels and a supplementary energy source which cannot be recharged in flight). We show that solar energy can be considered as identical to vertical air motion exploited by a sailplane. This permits soaring speed to fly theory to be extended to incorporate both solar energy and atmospheric vertical motion. The use of stored energy onboard allows derivation of a speed to fly theory with an arrival time constraint, allowing the exploitation of stochastic energy during a flight plan. The speed schedule is tested in Monte Carlo simulations and shows the ability to satisfy an arrival time constraint while reducing energy consumption by approximately 2% and reducing variation in final energy state by approximately 3%. The algorithm is also tested in flight using a small uas, and shows the ability to satisfy an arrival time condition within 1%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Scitech 2019 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105784
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
EventAIAA Scitech Forum, 2019 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Jan 7 2019Jan 11 2019

Publication series

NameAIAA Scitech 2019 Forum

Conference

ConferenceAIAA Scitech Forum, 2019
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period1/7/191/11/19

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Bird, J. J., & Langelaan, J. W. (2019). Optimal speed scheduling for hybrid solar aircraft with arrival time condition. In AIAA Scitech 2019 Forum (AIAA Scitech 2019 Forum). American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2019-1421