In most of the existing solar airplanes, solar cells are allocated on the top of the wing. From the perspective of Axiomatic Design, this configuration creates a dependency between power, endurance and wing load. The aim of this article is to present a preliminary formulation of the design problem with quantitative transfer functions to which Suh's principles are then applied. The formulation of the design problem results in a set of two main functional requirements (FR), endurance and excess of specific mechanical power, which the laws of physics relate to their (DP) through the transfer functions. This formulation is exposed in a way that facilitates its use as an example for teaching Axiomatic Design. The analysis of the DP tendencies according to Axiomatic Design principles depicts the technological limits of solar aviation, focusing on how the aforementioned dependencies constraint the basic topology of solar aircraft to a large range of potential missions in terms of endurance and excess of specific mechanical power.
Rodriguez, J. B., Morales, C. G., & Benavides, E. M. (2015). A First Approach to Solar Aviation with the Use of Axiomatic Design. In Procedia CIRP (Vol. 34, pp. 186–192). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procir.2015.07.069