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Aircraft shape optimization for mission performance

Gallard, François. Aircraft shape optimization for mission performance. PhD, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, 2014

(Document in English)

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Official URL: http://ethesis.inp-toulouse.fr/archive/00002717/


An aircraft encounters a wide range of operating conditions during its missions, i.e. flight altitude, Mach number and angle of attack, which consideration at the design phase enhances the system robustness and consequently the overall fleet consumption. Numerical optimization of aerodynamic shapes contributes to aircraft design, and relies on the automation of geometry generation and numerical simulations of the flight physics. Minimization of aerodynamic shapes drag must take into account multiple operating conditions, since optimization at a single operating condition leads to a strong degradation of performance when this operating condition varies. Besides, structural flexibility deforms the wings differently depending on the operating conditions, so has to be simulated during such optimizations. In the present thesis, the mission fuel consumption minimization is formulated as an optimization problem. The focus is made on the choice of operating conditions to be included in the optimization problem, since they have a major impact on the quality of the results, and the computational cost is proportional to their number. A new theoretical framework is proposed, overcoming and giving new insights on problematic situations revealed by state-of-the-art methods for multipoint optimization problem setup. An algorithm called Gradient Span Analysis is proposed to automate the choice of operating conditions. It is based on a reduction of dimension of the vector space spanned by adjoint gradients obtained at the different operating conditions. Programming contributions to the optimization chain enabled the evaluation of the new method on the optimizations of the academic RAE2822 airfoil, and the XRF-1 wing-body configuration, representative of a modern transport aircraft. While the shapes resulting of single-point optimizations present strong degradations of the performance in off-design conditions, adequately formulated multi-Machmulti- lift optimizations present much more interesting performance compromises. It is finally shown that fluid-structure interaction adds new degrees of freedom, and has consequences on multiple flight conditions optimizations, opening the perspective of passive shape adaptation.

Item Type:PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Research Director:
Mohammadi, Bijan and Montagnac, Marc
Deposited By: admin admin
Deposited On:24 Jul 2014 21:58

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