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Knowledge-Based Aerodynamic Estimation of Airships

Khurram Rashid 1, Riaz Ahmad 1, Adnan Maqsood 2, and Farrukh Mazhar 3
1. School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST), H-12 Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan
2. Research Centre for Modeling & Simulation, National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST), H-12 Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan
3. Department of Aerospace Engineering, College of Aeronautical Engineering, National University of Sciences & Technology, Risalpur, Pakistan

Abstract—High fidelity flight modeling and simulation generally involves development of mathematical models based on aerodynamics and flight characteristics derived from experimental or numerical data. The data is generally recorded in look-up tables and called in during simulation. This results in very high computational cost (time & hardware requirements). An alternative, discussed in this paper, is to use a computational and knowledge-based paradigm, called neural networks. The network is presented with the experimental data and learns the relationships between forces and moments in six degrees of freedom. This modeling strategy has important implications for modeling the behavior of novel and complex flying configurations, such as airships that are considered in this paper. The pipeline includes, digitization of wind tunnel data, compatibility of digitized data with neural network (feed-forward) followed by development of six degree of freedom aerodynamic model. The preliminary results of using neural networks to model aerodynamic forces & moments look promising. 

Index Terms—Artificial Neural Networks (ANN), artificial intelligence, airships, wind tunnel testing, flight dynamics, aerodynamic estimation

Cite: Khurram Rashid, Riaz Ahmad, Adnan Maqsood, and Farrukh Mazhar, "Knowledge-Based Aerodynamic Estimation of Airships," International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 239-245, October 2016. DOI: 10.18178/ijmerr.5.4.239-245