Integration of nonlinear aeroelastics effects in the industrial loads and aeroelastic process

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Aeronautics


The research project aims to, in collaboration with Airbus UK, investigate the complex dynamic interactions between the flexible aircraft dynamics, its aerodynamics, the flight control system, and the atmospheric environment. This is an essential feature of aircraft design to, at its best, ensure a smooth ride in turbulent wind and, at its worst, prevent structural failure. However, interaction with the atmospheric conditions is a particularly challenging computational problem that has historically been addressed using rather conservative processes by the civil transport aircraft industry. Ambitious efficiency targets to achieve net-zero aviation are driving the aircraft designs towards higher-aspect-ratio and, therefore, more flexible wings. Such a design ambition demands new analysis methods and processes, as well as innovative wing architectures. We will investigate strategies to multi-point design of the outer wings, which are likely to include movable mechanisms in most future long-range civil aircraft. This project comprises the development, comparison, and validation of numerical methods for the analysis of aircraft with very high aspect ratio wings, which is the most aerodynamically efficient strategy, but one that is also highly sensitivity to the atmospheric conditions. This comes with a major computational overhead and a compromise is needed to be found between simulation accuracy and computational efficiency. This project will investigate novel computational methods to address that challenge, to be implemented as part of the Imperial Load Control and Aeroelastics Lab-led open-source multiphysics toolbox SHARPy, as a stepping stone towards a design framework for greener and more efficient aircraft.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/W522004/1 30/09/2021 29/09/2026
2699392 Studentship EP/W522004/1 01/12/2021 30/11/2025 Kelvin Cheng