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Hi everyone,

I am a High School student (final year) and am doing an extra-curricular project. Having complete autonomy on what we do the project on, I choose to design a High-Altitude Long-Endurance (HALE) UAV, such as the QinetiQ Zephyr [http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/zephyr/] or these designs from the NASA competition - [http://commentspro.com/lead/172000] [Broken].

Having very basic knowledge of aeronautical engineering, I don't know where to begin the designing process. I have got Open VSP and know that I can simply mockup a few ideas there, and calculate basic data like lift coefficient, drag etc, but in reality, I don't think that won't tell me much about improving my designs. I have also been reading a NASA paper on a similar problem [http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20070017849.pdf], which turns out to be similar to what I want to design. However, they have used complex numerical optimisation methods to get an optimal design, and since I have no experience of MATLAB, or anyting of that sort, I can't do this.

If, in a reasonably short space of time, it is possible to understand the basics of numerical optimisation like MATLAB, and use it to come up with basic designs, I would like to do this, and would like to know how to get started. If this is beyond the scope of learning within, say 2-weeks, then can anyone suggest how to go about the project without the computational route.

I can do a bit of basic Python programming, and have used PTC Creo for product design, but nothing else.

Please tell me if you need to know anything else.

I hope someone can help, Thanks!

I am a High School student (final year) and am doing an extra-curricular project. Having complete autonomy on what we do the project on, I choose to design a High-Altitude Long-Endurance (HALE) UAV, such as the QinetiQ Zephyr [http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/zephyr/] or these designs from the NASA competition - [http://commentspro.com/lead/172000] [Broken].

Having very basic knowledge of aeronautical engineering, I don't know where to begin the designing process. I have got Open VSP and know that I can simply mockup a few ideas there, and calculate basic data like lift coefficient, drag etc, but in reality, I don't think that won't tell me much about improving my designs. I have also been reading a NASA paper on a similar problem [http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20070017849.pdf], which turns out to be similar to what I want to design. However, they have used complex numerical optimisation methods to get an optimal design, and since I have no experience of MATLAB, or anyting of that sort, I can't do this.

If, in a reasonably short space of time, it is possible to understand the basics of numerical optimisation like MATLAB, and use it to come up with basic designs, I would like to do this, and would like to know how to get started. If this is beyond the scope of learning within, say 2-weeks, then can anyone suggest how to go about the project without the computational route.

I can do a bit of basic Python programming, and have used PTC Creo for product design, but nothing else.

Please tell me if you need to know anything else.

I hope someone can help, Thanks!

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