and Applied Mechanics
52, 1, pp. 47-60, Warsaw 2014
Multi-objective conceptual design optimization of a domestic unmanned airship
Autonomous airships have gained a high degree of importance over the last decades, both theoretically as well and practically. This is due to their long endurance capability needed for monitoring, observation and communication missions. In this paper, a Multi-Objective Optimization approach (MOO) is followed for conceptual design of an airship taking aerodynamic drag, static stability, performance as well as the production cost that is proportional to the helium mass and the hull surface area, into account. Optimal interaction of the aforementioned disciplinary objectives is desirable and focused through the MOO analysis. Standard airship configurations are categorized into three major components that include the main body (hull), stabilizers (elevators and rudders) and gondola. Naturally, component sizing and positioning play an important role in the overall static stability and performance characteristics of the airship. The most important consequence of MOO analysis is that the resulting design not only meets the mission requirement; but will also be volumetrically optimal while having a desirable static and performance characteristics. The results of this paper are partly validated in the design and construction of a domestic unmanned airship indicating a good potential for the proposed approach.