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CFD Analysis of the SBXC Glider Airframe

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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The research of this thesis develops and implements a computational model of the SBXC Glider utilized in the Tactical Long-Endurance Unmanned Aerial System TaLEUAS project in order to simulate the aerodynamic performance of the airframe and compare it with real flight data. The broader goals are first, to provide a methodology for simulating a glider design with the intention to develop an optimization process or to evaluate a new design using computational tools and second, to allow students to follow an easy process in which to undertake similar aerodynamic analyses. The fluid behavior is studied using computer software such as Ansys CFX, which is based mathematically on finite element methods. To validate and verify the methodology developed, a mathematical comparison was made with the previous research data obtaining a similar region for best flying behavior. Recommendations are given to increase the accuracy of the flying performance for velocities greater than 15 ms.

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