Morphing UAV Pareto Curve Shift for Enhanced Performance

Master's Thesis


Research interests in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has grown over the past couple decades. Historically, UAVs were designed to maximize endurance and range, but demands in UAV designs have changed in recent years. In addition to the traditional demands for endurance and range, today customer demands include maneuverability. Therefore, UAVs are being designed to morph, to change their geometrical shape during flight, for enhanced maneuvering capability. In this investigation the morphing UAV concept under study is referred to as the buckle wing. The design of the buckle-wing airfoil geometries is posed as a multilevel, multiobjective optimization problem. This design problem includes two competing objectives of maneuverability and range/endurance. Multiobjective problems have many optimal solutions each depicting a different compromise scenario. Each optimal solution is a Pareto point, and the set of all these points represents the Pareto curve. This is a powerful means of showing the global picture of the solution field. The goal of this paper is to explore and compare the Pareto curves of the buckle-wing UAV to that of a conventional non-morphing UAV. In order to make this performance comparison, Compromise Programming is used as the optimizing method, and the Vortex Panel Method is used to calculate the aerodynamics. The buckle-wing UAV’s enhanced capabilities are demonstrated both quantitatively and graphically.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-04162004-101029

Author Michael Thomas Rusnell
Advisor Dr. John Renaud
Contributor Dr. John Renaud, Committee Chair
Contributor Dr. Edmundo Corona, Committee Member
Contributor Dr. Steven Skaar, Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Degree Name MSME
Defense Date
  • 2004-04-08

Submission Date 2004-04-16
  • United States of America

  • morph

  • UAV

  • Pareto

  • multiobjective

  • vortex panel

  • Compromise Programming

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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