Fuel Cell Sizing for a UAV with Intermeshing Rotors using a Genetic Algorithm for NDARC Rotor Performance Calibration

Victor Zappek, Ilkay Yavrucuk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Hydrogen fuel cell driven electric vertical flight is a current area of research and an alternative to battery based electric flight. This paper presents the models and methods used to size the hydrogen power plant and tanks of an unmanned helicopter named AREA. The battery electric power system of AREA will be converted to hydrogen power in the future. The goal of the conversion is to increase the flight time from the current 25 minutes to more than one hour. The design is performed using the NDARC preliminary design software. AREA uses intermeshing rotors. First, the necessary settings are found to model intermeshing rotors in NDARC, as this rotor concept is not natively supported by NDARC. Second, the rotor performance model is calibrated based on CAMRAD II simulations and flight test data. For this purpose, an automated calibration tool is developed using a genetic algorithm for robust calibration results. Third, the hydrogen system components are modeled and sized for the planned 60 min cruise test mission at maximum endurance speed. The results show that the nominal fuel cell power should be 3.8 kW and 280 g of hydrogen are required. The sized hydrogen system weighs approximately 20 kg.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFORUM 2023 - Vertical Flight Society 79th Annual Forum and Technology Display
PublisherVertical Flight Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781713874799
StatePublished - 2023
Event79th Vertical Flight Society Annual Forum and Technology Display, FORUM 2023 - West Palm Beach, United States
Duration: 16 May 202318 May 2023

Publication series

NameFORUM 2023 - Vertical Flight Society 79th Annual Forum and Technology Display

Conference

Conference79th Vertical Flight Society Annual Forum and Technology Display, FORUM 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWest Palm Beach
Period16/05/2318/05/23

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