Multi-Objective Numerical Optimization Applied to Aircraft Design
Grasso, Francesco (2008) Multi-Objective Numerical Optimization Applied to Aircraft Design. [Tesi di dottorato] (Inedito)
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Aircraft design is a very complex process because several disciplines are involved at the same time: aerodynamics, structures, performances, propulsion, costs. From this point of view, the real aircraft is a compromise between several requirements, often each conflicting with each other. An important consequence of this research of a good compromise, is that, in general, the overall design process is a succession of blocks, each one connected with more blocks; this means that it is not easy to decide when to “freeze” a configuration. The main goal of the present research is to propose the usage of numerical optimization concepts as a new approach for aircraft design and investigate the potentialities of this new approach. Numerical optimization is the mathematical formulation of the optimum-finding problem; more in general, numerical optimization is central to any problem involving decision making, whether in engineering or in economics. The task of decision making entails choosing between various alternatives. This choice is governed by our desire to make the "best" decision. In this sense, numerical optimization can be applied also in design problems. The main advantages of this approach are evidently, the opportunity to reduce design time and development costs. This is because any kind of parameters regarding the airfoil or more in general the aircraft and any kind of constraints are taken into account during the same block of optimization process. In other words, by using this approach it is possible to condensate several steps in one step only. In order to “build” an optimization process, several ingredients are necessary: • choice of optimization method • choice of parameterization • evaluation of objective function • choice of constraints In the present thesis the attention is focused on aerodynamic and performances aspects of the aircraft design, but the approach is very versatile and easy to adapt to different contexts.
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