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Investigation of Micro Gas Turbine Systems for High Speed Long Loiter Tactical Unmanned Air Systems

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Brunel University London, Uxbridge UB8 3PH, London, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Aerospace 2019, 6(5), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6050055
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Unmanned Aerial Systems)
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Abstract

In this study, the on-going research into the improvement of micro-gas turbine propulsion system performance and the suitability for its application as propulsion systems for small tactical UAVs (<600 kg) is investigated. The study is focused around the concept of converting existing micro turbojet engines into turbofans with the use of a continuously variable gearbox, thus maintaining a single spool configuration and relative design simplicity. This is an effort to reduce the initial engine development cost, whilst improving the propulsive performance. The BMT 120 KS micro turbojet engine is selected for the performance evaluation of the conversion process using the gas turbine performance software GasTurb13. The preliminary design of a matched low-pressure compressor (LPC) for the proposed engine is then performed using meanline calculation methods. According to the analysis that is carried out, an improvement in the converted micro gas turbine engine performance, in terms of thrust and specific fuel consumption is achieved. Furthermore, with the introduction of a CVT gearbox, the fan speed operation may be adjusted independently of the core, allowing an increased thrust generation or better fuel consumption. This therefore enables a wider gamut of operating conditions and enhances the performance and scope of the tactical UAV. View Full-Text
Keywords: Unmanned Air Vehicles; micro gas turbine performance; low pressure compressor preliminary design Unmanned Air Vehicles; micro gas turbine performance; low pressure compressor preliminary design
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Large, J.; Pesyridis, A. Investigation of Micro Gas Turbine Systems for High Speed Long Loiter Tactical Unmanned Air Systems. Aerospace 2019, 6, 55.

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