Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 January 2016
This paper describes a possibility-based multidisciplinary optimisation for electric-powered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) design. An in-house integrated UAV (iUAV) analysis program that uses an electric-powered motor was developed and validated by a Predator A configuration for aerodynamics, weight, and performance parameters. An electric-powered propulsion system was proposed to replace a piston engine and fuel with an electric motor, power controllers, and battery from an eco-system point of view. Moreover, an in-house Possibility-Based Design Optimisation (iPBDO) solver was researched and developed to effectively handle uncertainty variables and parameters and to further shift constraints into a feasible design space. A sensitivity analysis was performed to reduce the dimensions of design variables and the computational load during the iPBDO process. Maximising the electric-powered UAV endurance while solving the iPBDO yields more conservative, but more reliable, optimal UAV configuration results than the traditional deterministic optimisation approach. A high fidelity analysis was used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the process by verifying the accuracy of the optimal electric-powered UAV configuration at two possibility index values and a baseline.