Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Sub-Department

Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Michel J. L. van Tooren

Abstract

A multidisciplinary shape optimization tool coupling aerodynamics, structure, and performance was developed for battery powered aircraft. Utilizing high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics analysis tools and a structural wing weight tool, coupled based on the multidisciplinary feasible optimization architecture; aircraft geometry is modified in the optimization of the aircraft’s range or endurance. The developed tool is applied to three geometries: a hybrid blended wing body, delta wing UAS, the ONERA M6 wing, and a modified ONERA M6 wing. First, the optimization problem is presented with the objective function, constraints, and design vector. Next, the tool’s architecture and the analysis tools that are utilized are described. Finally, various optimizations are described and their results analyzed for all test subjects. Results show that less computationally expensive inviscid optimizations yield positive performance improvements using planform, airfoil, and three-dimensional degrees of freedom. From the results obtained through a series of optimizations, it is concluded that the newly developed tool is both effective at improving performance and serves as a platform ready to receive additional performance modules, further improving its computational design support potential.

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