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Title:Design, development and evaluation of a distributed electric propulsion testbed aircraft
Author(s):Pieper, Kyle Chapman
Advisor(s):Ansell, Phillip J.
Department / Program:Aerospace Engineering
Discipline:Aerospace Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):distributed electric propulsion
dynamic scaling
propulsive control
flight testing
conceptual design
testbed aircraft
Cirrus SR22-T
boundary layer ingestion
Abstract:The work presented in this thesis was performed in support of a NASA STTR Phase I program aimed to improve the overall system technology readiness level of a distributed electric propulsion (DEP) based control system. The primary objectives of this work were to experimentally characterize the propulsion-airframe interactions inherent to DEP vehicles to aid in modeling and to explore and validate the use of DEP to perform vehicle-level flight control. A Cirrus SR22-T was chosen as a suitable airframe for DEP modifications and a 21% radio-controlled model was constructed and instrumented with a full data acquisition and flight control system to command and capture the aircraft’s state during flight. The baseline configuration of the Cirrus model was successfully flight tested to perform system identification multi-sine maneuvers, which were used in the creation and refinement of a high-fidelity flight dynamics model. Plans for a dynamically-scaled variant of this configuration were developed with weight and inertial scaling targets within 5% of the ideal values. For the DEP modifications, an extensive system engineering study was performed to balance weight, structure, power, electronics, aerodynamics and control requirements. A final design featuring a total of eight electric ducted fans located in two groups of four on the upper trailing edge of the left and right wing was selected. Wind tunnel testing of the selected electric ducted fans was conducted to validate thrust and temperature performance. A new set of wings were designed and constructed to mount the propulsors and integrate with the existing Cirrus model requiring minimal changes to the baseline design. A test stand mimicking the DEP wing was developed to safely test the entire propulsion system on the ground and provide preliminary analysis of implemented control maneuvers. Successful flight testing of the DEP vehicle is expected to validate the overall design and implementation of DEP-based control. Last, a study was performed to investigate the feasibility of scaling up the sub-scale DEP research vehicle to a limited range, full-size equivalent Cirrus SR22-T with DEP modifications using current hardware.
Issue Date:2018-04-25
Type:Text
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/101073
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Kyle Chapman Pieper. All rights reserved.
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05


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