Study of the feasibility of a solar-powered aircraft
Tutor / director / evaluatorGonzález Díez, David
Document typeBachelor thesis
Rights accessRestricted access - author's decision
This project sets out to study the feasibility of solar-powered aircraft, emphasising on manned ight. Its aim is to explore the necessary technologies, capabilities and limits of airplanes powered by sunlight in conjunction with auxiliary batteries from an energetic point of view. Chapter 1 introduces the relevance of the project in this day and age and the motivations to realise it. Chapter 2 goes through the main milestones in the history of solar ight and describes its state of the art. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 cover all the basic information about the operational side of solar ight, explaining mission development, the most relevant technologies involved and the dynamics and power equations that govern it. In Chapter 6 these equations are studied in full depth to observe how the main design parameters a ect the feasibility of solar ight, through a series of plots and relationships. Chapter 7 puts into practice a conceptual design methodology for estimating the main design parameters of the aircraft proposing dimensions for a two-seater solar aircraft. Moreover, studies the implementation of solar technology into existing aircraft. Chapter 8 highlights the situation of the aviation industry as a contributor to global warming and studies the role of solar technology as a possible improvement. Chapter 9 goes through the economical feasibility side of the technology. Finally, Chapters 10 and 11 analyse the results obtained in the project and future lines of investigation.
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