Gradient-based multi-disciplinary optimisation with CAD-based parametrisation, application to an aircraft winglet

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary University of London
Department Name: School of Engineering & Materials Scienc


Gradient-based methods are essential for high-fidelity shape optimisation, great strides have been made in computing derivatives for CFD using adjoint solvers and are now widely used in aerospace design. Parametrisation of the shape remains a bottleneck, as computation of the shape gradients of CAD geometries is challenging. Winglets are an important part of wing design, the winglet geometry has a strong influence on the aerodynamics of the entire wing, as well as on the structural design of the wing. An optimal winglet design needs a careful trade-off of aerodynamic efficiency vs. structural weight, requiring high-fidelity analysis.

The aim of the project is to explore the capability, efficiency and robustness of the various shape parametrisation approaches developed at QMUL when applied to the multi-disciplinary shape optimisation of the winglet of a wing-fuselage benchmark case. The flow and structure simulations are carried out with Airbus' simulation tools such as high-fidelity CFD flow simulations, as well as simplified structure models developed for this case. QMUL's CAD parametrisation tools will be used to control the geometry.


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