Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Frederick G. Harmon, PhD.


A multi-fidelity conceptual design tool was developed to assess electrochemically-powered micro air vehicles(MAVs). The tool utilizes four areas of contributing analyses (CAs): aerodynamics, propulsion, power management, and power sources to determine the endurance duration of a given mission. The low-fidelity aerodynamic CA consisted of drag polar calculations and the high-level CA used a vortex theory code called Athena Vortex Lattice (AVL). The propulsion CA employed QPROP and a MATLAB code that used experimental propeller data and motor constants to predict propeller-motor combination performance for the low- and high-fidelity tracks, respectively. The power management CA determined the percentage of required power the power sources needed to provide by a user-defined split or an optimization to maximize endurance duration for the two fidelity options. The power source CA used specific energy and specific power calculations for the low-fidelity track and polarization curves and Ragone plots for the high-fidelity track. Model Center software allowed for integration of each of these CAs into one model. Based on the current state of the art battery and fuel cell technology, the model predicted endurance durations ranging from 88.5 to 107.3 min. The mission simulations that led to these durations used a generic MAV (GenMAV) configuration and the complete spectrum of fidelity combinations.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number