An architecture for rapid modeling and simulation of an air-vehicle system

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering


Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Advisor: Kimberly E. Bigelow


A reduced order air-vehicle model has been developed that provides the ability to rapidly simulate different aircraft concepts at a mission level using only standard engine data, drag polar aerodynamic data and aircraft weight. New or updated air-vehicle concepts are rapidly realized simply by updating the propulsion, aerodynamic, and mass data tables; no changes internal to the model or controller are required. This makes the model very attractive for optimization studies where a large design space is explored using many different concepts. The reduced order model has been developed to facilitate mission level thermal management subsystem studies and has proved a valuable alternative to higher order modeling methods. Simulation speed and robustness are improved over that of higher order models previously used for these studies. In this effort, reduced order model is shown to run approximately 25 times less than a 6DOF model of the same aircraft. Meanwhile, development time associated with generating new aircraft models is significantly reduced. The performance of the model is compared to a traditional six degree of freedom (6DOF) model through various maneuvers and a generic representative thermally stressing mission. Thrust command comparisons against the 6DOF model are shown to be in excellent agreement when trim drag is accounted for.


Research aircraft Design and construction, Airplanes Motors Thermal properties, Aircraft drafting, Aerospace Engineering

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2016, author