You are on page 1of 52


Nastran Structural Optimization Applications for Aerospace Structures

Jack Castro Sr. Technical Representative/Boeing Technical manager

MSC.Nastran optimization overview Airframe Sizing Application Model tuning and test / analysis
correlation Detailed panel design

What is Design Optimization

Automated modifications of the analysis
model parameters to achieve a desired objective while satisfying specified design requirements.

As an analyst or designer, we have all

performed some sort of optimization Brute-force optimization Trial and Error

Optimization Problem Statement

Design Variables:
Find {X} = { X1, X2, , XN }
e.g., thickness of a panel, area of a stiffener

Objective Function:
Minimize F(X)
e.g., weight

Optimization Problem Statement (cont.)

Subject to:
Inequality constraints:
Gj (X) < 0 j = 1,2,.,L Design Criteria and margins Side constraints: XiL < Xi < XiU i = 1,2,.,N Gage allowables

What are the Possible Applications?

Structural design improvements and
sizing Generation of feasible designs from infeasible designs Model matching to produce similar structural responses System parameter identification Configuration evaluations Sensitivity analysis Others - (depends on designers creativity)

Basic Features Implemented in MSC.Nastran

Easy access to design synthesis

capabilities Concept of design model Flexible for design model representation User-supplied equation interpretation

MSC.Nastran Implementation of Structural Optimization

Initial Initial Design Design Improved Improved Design Design
The required number of Iterations of the external loop must be small.

Structural Structural Response Response Analysis Analysis Constraint Constraint Screening Screening

Approximate Approximate Model Model

Optimizer Optimizer

Sensitivity Sensitivity Analysis Analysis Finite Element Analysis

Many Times

One time around the loop is referred to as a design cycle or design iteration.

MSC.Nastran Implementation of Structural Optimization

Implemented in SOL 200 Provides sensitivity information Multidisciplinary Variety of Design Variables Element and material properties Offsets, orientation vectors Variety of Responses for objective or constraints Displacement, stress, force, stability derivatives, flutter damping values and most other output quantities Equation derived responses External subroutine derived responses

Strengths of MSC.Nastran Structural Optimization

Efficient performance for small- to large
scale problems Reliable convergence characteristics Flexible user interface and user-defined equations and subroutines Full implementation of approximation concepts Continuous enhancements

General Functions
Solution Sequence
SOL 200 Analysis Types supported Statics Normal Modes Buckling Direct Frequency Response Modal Frequency Response Modal Transient Response Static Aeroelastic Aeroelastic flutter Direct and Modal Complex Eigenvalue

Multi-disciplinary Example Setup


Types of Optimization
MSC.Nastran supports the following two
classes of optimization: Sizing optimization (e.g., thickness of plate,
cross sectional areas of stiffeners, etc.) Shape optimization (e.g., optimizing the largest allowable size of a hole in a plate.) Shape and sizing optimization can be performed simultaneously

Specific Applications
Airframe Sizing Process Test / Analysis Correlation Detailed Panel Design

Airframe Sizing
SOL 200 used extensively for
airframe sizing at Boeing, Lockheed, Fairchild-Dornier and others Recent Examples Boeing Sonic Cruiser Boeing 7E7 (ongoing) Lockheed F-35 FD 728/928 series regional aircraft

Airframe Sizing
Typically Multi-disciplinary
Statics Flutter Performance/Control Effectiveness
(static aeroelasticity)

Airframe Sizing
Weight Minimization Design Variables Thicknesses, areas, offsets Cross-section properties and
MSC.Nastran supports defining beam crosssections by defining dimensions of standard section types (ROD, RECT,TUBE,CHAN,etc.) User can define additional section types that are not provided by MSC

Airframe Sizing
Typical Constraints
Stress and force (DRESP1) Panel Buckling (DRESP3) Design criteria calculations (DRESP2 or
DRESP3) Manufacturability criteria (DRESP2 or DRESP3) Flutter damping values (DRESP1) Performance rates and effectiveness (e.g. roll rate and roll effectiveness) (DRESP1 or DRESP2)

Airframe Sizing Key Ingredients

DRESP3 - User definable and

programmable response equations New Composite Options Membrane or bending only Smeared Discrete Optimization Best design variable value selected from user supplied set of allowed values

Airframe Sizing DRESP3

DRESP3 External Response

Calculator Funded by Lockheed Martin
Exclusive use until mid-2001 Available, but undocumented in MSC.Nastran V2001 Formally introduced and documented in MSC.Nastran V2004

Airframe Sizing DRESP3

DRESP3 Applications
Design criteria that are calculated by inhouse programs Strength criteria Buckling criteria Practicality criteria Cost analysis Any user function that has some dependence on the design variables and responses available in SOL 200

Airframe Sizing DRESP3

DRESP3 Features
Fortran or C external subroutine using
inputs from Nastran Common Inputs Design variable values Most any Nastran computed response (for
example, displacements, forces, stresses and many others Node, Element and Material data External data

Airframe Sizing Composites

New PCOMP Laminate Options
Funded by Lockheed Martin
Exclusive use until mid-2001 Available, but undocumented in MSC.Nastran V2001 Formally introduced and documented in MSC.Nastran V2004

Airframe Sizing Composites

New PCOMP laminate options
MEM Membrane Only BEND Bending only SMEAR Smeared or averaged stiffness for
preliminary sizing applications User specifies thickness of plies for each ply angle,
and ignores stacking order Bending stiffness [B] computed by factoring membrane stiffness [A] by T3/12

SMCORE Similar to SMEAR but for

facesheet/core laminates

Airframe Sizing Discrete Optimization

Discrete Sizing
Optimization first performed using continuous
design variables Continuous design variables then re-sized to discrete values based upon user supplied lists Discrete step can be done after each design cycle or only once at end of the run Ensures final property values consistent with available manufacturing gages

Airframe Sizing Discrete Optimization

Four Discrete re-sizing options

Round up to nearest design variable Round off to the nearest design variable Conservative Discrete Design
Rounds up or down depending on which
most satisfies constraints

Design of Experiment

Airframe Sizing Additional Options

Fully Stressed Design MSC.Nastran Toolkit
Integration of in-house codes to
Nastran using client-server methods Direct access of MSC.Nastran database Execution of MSC.Nastran modules instead of entire solution sequences User customized applications

Airframe Sizing - Example

Fairchild Dornier FD 728 regional
aircraft wing box (reference 2)

Airframe Sizing - Example

Design Variable Summary

Airframe Sizing - Example

Design Criteria Summary

Airframe Sizing - Conclusion

The achieved sizing results of the wing box
proved that is is very efficient to apply MDO in a real life aircraft design cycle. Once all the tools for pre- and post-processing were in place, it became clear that the sizing process could be completed in a much shorter time than that of a traditional means (reference 2) Furthermore, the MDO sizing process produced the much desired minimum weight design with its economic and performance benefits (reference 2)

Airframe Sizing - References

Reference 1: Lockheed-Martin
Integration of External Design Criteria with MSC.Nastran
Structural Analysis and Optimization. Paper No. 2001-15, MSC.Software 2002 Worldwide Aerospace and Technology Showcase,D.K. Barker, J.C. Johnson, E.H. Johnson, D.P. Layfield

Reference 2: Fairchild-Dornier
Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Of A Regional
Aircraft Wing Box. G. Schuhmacher, I. Murra, L. Wang, A. Laxander, O.J. OLeary. 9th AIAA Symposium on Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization, September, 2002. Paper: AIAA 2002 5406

Test Analysis Correlation

SOL 200 is useful tool to aid in model
updating to match test Correlation to Ground Vibration Test (GVT) Model Tuning Eigenvalues Eigenvectors (V2004) Frequency Response Function (FRF)

Test Analysis Correlation

Define Error Function as objective Apply design variables that influence
desired outputs Constrain desired quantities to near test values

Test Analysis Error Functions

Typical Error function:

ai - ti 2 wt i ( ) ai

ai = ith analysis response ti = ith test response Wti = ith weighting factor Responses can be displacements, accelerations, frequencies or any computed response (DRESP1, DRESP2 or DRESP3)

Error Function input on DEQATN entry

referenced by DRESP2 and selected by DESOBJ as objective function.

Test Analysis Error Functions

More complex error functions
Bayesian parameter Estimation Incorporates uncertainties in both test
and model data

Test Analysis Design Variables

Which model parameters are uncertain
that influence desired response? Typical design variables
Structural and viscous damping properties
Useful for matching FRF peak amplitudes Material properties and densities Mass distributions and offsets Spring stiffness for fasteners, bolts, welds and other general connections Gages Thicknesses, section dimensions, etc.

Test - Analysis Constraints

Place bounds on desired responses
Example: Analysis response = test response +3%

Place constraint on desired mass and

center of gravity location if mass is being changed or redistributed See section 3.3 V70.7 MSC.Nastran Release

Place upper and lower bound gage

constraints based upon model uncertainties

Test Analysis Guidelines

Matching important mode
frequencies is easiest to set up Caution: No guarantee that resulting
mode shapes agree with test

Instead of frequency only matching,

consider also Matching frequency response function
at key nodes, or Matching eigenvector response at key nodes (V2004)

Test Analysis Guidelines

Recommend pre-test planning
Determine good drive point(s) Determine good accelerometer locations

Recommend running a modal

assurance criteria (MAC) check after optimization to compare analysis modes to test modes MSC.Procor MSC.Nastran POSTMACA.V200x

Model Updating Reference

Updating MSC/NASTRAN Models to Match
Test Data, Ken Blakely, The MacNealSchwendler Corporation. Presented at the 1991 MSC World Users Conference ry/conf/wuc91/p05091.pdf

Detailed Panel Design

Detailed Panel Design

Objective: Minimize Weight Constraints
Buckling critical load factor >= 1.0 Maximum Von Mises Stress < 30000 psi Design Variables Plate Thickness Frame Height Stringer Height

Detailed Panel Design

Panel does not initially meet buckling
criteria. Critical Load Factor = .91

Detailed Panel Design

After Optimization, buckling criteria
satisfied, weight minimized. Critical Load Factor=1.0

Detailed Panel Design

Objective Function History

Detailed Panel Design

Design Variable History

Detailed Panel Design

Maximum Design Constraint History

Detailed Panel Design

Comparison of Objective function to
Constraint History

Detailed Panel Design Setup

Case Control

Detailed Panel Design Setup

Design Model

Detailed Panel Design Guidelines

Define reasonable design variables Define appropriate design constraints
Stress Displacement Laminate or ply failure criteria Shape design variables can be incorporated to size cutouts
Use DRESP1, DRESP2 or DRESP3 as required Buckling