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9th AIAA/ISSMO Symposium on Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization 4-6 September 2002, Atlanta, Georgia

AIAA 2002-5405

G. Shi, G. Renaud and X. Yang Structures, Materials and Propulsion Laboratory Institute for Aerospace Research National Research Council Canada Ottawa, Canada K1A 0R6 F. Zhang and S. Chen Aerodynamics Laboratory Institute for Aerospace Research National Research Council Canada Ottawa, Canada K1A 0R6

ABSTRACT A wing design process, coupling the three disciplines of structures, aerodynamics and aeroelasticity, was successfully performed. This paper presents the multidisciplinary design procedure with emphasis on structural modeling and optimization. The linking and coupling techniques for the multidisciplinary integration is summarized and the methodology for automatic conversion of the aerodynamic wing shape and pressure distribution to the structural finite element model is presented. Furthermore, the automatic model generation used for structural optimization in the integrated design loop is described. The results obtained show that the developed techniques work well and that more complicated MDO operations can be undertaken. INTRODUCTION

linkage of distributed design teams are two important issues that must be addressed in MDO. The Institute for Aerospace Research of the National Research Council of Canada launched a project for developing MDO strategies for aerospace systems integrating structures, aerodynamics and aeroelasticity. At this stage, the research activities focused on the development of linking and coupling techniques. This paper presents the initial results of a preliminary wing design by integration of the three disciplines. In order to provide more information on this research work, this paper focuses on the structural aspects and coupling techniques. Another paper provides more details on aerodynamic modeling and optimazition1. MULTIDISCIPLINARY DESIGN CYCLE

Multidisciplinary Design and Optimization (MDO) has gained wide acceptance in the aerospace industry. The increasing interest in this methodology is due to the complexity of aerospace systems, which requires efficient coordination of various disciplinary analysis capabilities and effective communication among potentially geographically separated teams. The design departments in aerospace industry are often strongly segregated by disciplines, such as structures, aerodynamics and aeroelasticity. Each department is only responsible for specific aspects of the engineering work required for designing an aircraft. In each discipline, specific discipline-driven design techniques are developed and used, for instance, FEM for structural analysis and CFD for aerodynamic analysis. In order to develop an integrated aircraft design approach, the coupling of multiple disciplines and the

The objective of the multidisciplinary design process presented in this paper was to find the lightest wing box design for certain flight conditions that satisfies predefined geometry, stress, flutter, and displacement requirements. The loads acting on the wing box were determined from CFD analyses and depend on the structural weight. Figure 1 illustrates the M6 swept wing geometry and flight parameters used in the design process. The integrated design process included three coupled disciplines. First, the aerodynamics discipline evaluated the pressure distribution on the surface of the wing. Second, the structures discipline calculated the wing box stresses and deformations resulting from the air pressure. Third, the aeroelasticity discipline

Copyright  2002 by NRC. Published by AIAA with permission.

Copyright © 2002 by the author(s). Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission.

317. The wing box structural displacements and stresses caused by the aerodynamics loads were calculated through a finite element procedure. Furthermore. The free stream Mach number was set to 0. If aerodynamics optimization is performed. Multidisciplinary design loop.56 O Sweep angle: Λ25% = 26. deformation. Step 1: Structural and aeroelastic analysis and optimization A finite element model of the wing box was created after each aerodynamics analysis to include the changes in pressure loads acting on the structural members. In case 2.: M6 swept wing Max thick.7 in .84 Wing geo. The flutter speed was used as a constraint in the structural optimization. with aeroelasticity analysis. The angle of attack was allowed to vary during the course of the optimization process. The objective of this constraint was to ensure that the flight speed did not reach the critical flutter speed. To obtain a realistic wing.5 in 133.predicted the flutter speed with data from the other two disciplines. In the present case.7 Mach number: M = 0. More details on aerodynamic analysis and optimization can be found in the reference1. Structural Optimization Aerodynamics Analysis/ Optimization Pressure Geomerty Structural & Aeroelasticity Analysis (Figure 5) Optimization Converged? No Yes No Yes Converged? Weight Figure 2. at root: 31. represented by seven sections in the spanwise direction. To accomplish this. The second case involved both structural and aerodynamics optimization. For simplicity.84 and the lift was kept equal to the weight of the airplane. 2) 3) These three steps were repeated until the process convergence met a certain tolerance criteria. No optimization work was involved in this discipline and only flutter speed calculations were carried out. Step 2: Aerodynamics analysis/optimization Assuming that the wing shape was fixed (Case 1). Evaluation of process convergence.8 Taper ratio: λ = 0. the angle of attack was adjusted at each aerodynamic step to ensure that the total lift was equal to the aircraft weight. a drag minimization was carried out for the ONERA M6 isolated wing. This analysis was coupled to an optimization algorithm that interpreted the structural response and modified the wing box design to minimize the weight under predetermined constraints. the wing shape changes were taken into account when aerodynamics optimization was present. Two formulations were implemented for the integrated design process. and flutter constraints. geometry constraints forced the maximum wing thickness to be greater than or equal to 8% of its corresponding chord and the trailing edge angle to lie between 5 and 20 degrees. Both cases included an initial step for determination of the initial weight and pressure distribution corresponding to the initial design. Aeroelasticity analyses were performed in parallel to the static structural analysis. the wing shape is modified to minimize the drag. under stress.0 in Figure 1. the aerodynamic analysis was conducted using the CFD solver KTRAN2. The multidisciplinary design process is illustrated in Figure 2 and described in the next paragraphs. Calculation of wing drag. the original M6 wing planform was not altered and the optimization procedure only modified the section shapes. the aerodynamics analysis was limited to determining the air pressure needed to maintain flight. Wing characteristics.3 in Aspect ratio: A = 3. at each section. This procedure was repeated until the lightest structure with acceptable stress and deformation under the aerodynamics loads was determined. The actual process of system optimization comprised three steps: 1) Minimization of the wing box weight. The first case involved structural optimization with aerodynamics and aeroelasticity analysis.3 in 471. 2 AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF AERONAUTICS AND ASTRONAUTICS 178.

The structural geometric and finite element models therefore had to be updateable at the initialization phase of the structural optimization step. The characteristics of the finite elements and materials composing the wing box are listed in Tables 1 and 2.c (Ksi) 39 60 σy. eleven ribs. However. Stringers Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Steel Steel Table 1. composed of two skins. It should be noted that all finite element pre-processing was accomplished using PATRAN4. Different element types and materials were used for the various structural components. step 4) needed to be performed before the start of each structural optimization.5 30. respectively.3 σy. three spars. Component Element type Shell Shell Shell Shell Beam Beam Material Number of elements 40 40 44 30 55 100 Upper skin Lower skin Rib webs Spar webs Rib posts Spar beams. This weight value was calculated using the optimized wing box obtained in step 1. is shown in Figure 3. the geometry and finite element model could be saved and re-loaded when needed. AUTOMATIC MODEL GENERATION (COUPLING TECHNIQUES) One of the most challenging aspects of multidisciplinary wing design and optimization is the sharing of disciplinary responses between the various analysis codes3. For the problem presented in this paper. tensile. The quality of data transfer therefore directly affected the quality of the system analysis.Step 3: Convergence evaluation. The major difficulty came from the fact that the FE and CFD grids were different. Material properties. 11 equally spaced sections defined by 204 points were used. and shear yield stresses. In that case. all structural loads came from aerodynamic analysis.s (Ksi) 23 - Table 2. the Poisson’s ratio and to the AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF AERONAUTICS AND ASTRONAUTICS .3 0. FE properties of the wing box model. since the geometry was assumed fixed. The second type of coupling concerned the aerodynamics pressure loads calculated by CFD that had to be converted to finite element nodal forces. 1) Outer wing geometry import The aerodynamics-discipline wing shape was stored in a predefined data file as a collection of points located in three dimensions. Conceptually. compressive. without its upper skin. The total weight of the aircraft was used for convergence purposes. and hence the final optimal design. WING BOX MODEL A medium-complexity wing box model was assumed.0 ν 0. The first three steps were optional if no aerodynamics optimization was performed. the aerodynamics-to-structure coupling involved the first and fourth steps of the fivestep automatic model generation procedure illustrated in Figure 4. For the results presented in this paper. It was assumed that the wing shape was controlled by aerodynamic performance and that it could be modified at any time outside the structures discipline operations. since the applied loads changed after each CFD analysis. The exchange of information from aerodynamics to structures was done during the finite element model generation. Material Aluminum Steel E (Msi) 10. A function written in PATRAN Command Language (PCL) read this file and imported the points into the PATRAN database as 3 Figure 3.01% was required between two subsequent iterations as the criterion of termination.t (Ksi) 43 75 σy. a relative weight change smaller than 0. and four stringers. A schematic of the wing box. In the wing box case. Two types of coupling were considered in the present study. The structural analysis model consisted of 309 elements. The data transmission was performed using ASCII files containing the linking information. The first one concerned the outer wing geometry. Wing box model (upper skin not shown). The five columns of Table 2 correspond to the Young’s modulus.

However. This procedure had two advantages: i) The load distribution was automatically distributed among the nodal points as nodal forces. For modeling purposes it was assumed that all wing box structural components were in contact with the outer shape. It was assumed that the wing box geometry changed if the wing shape changed. 2) Inner wing geometry generation A PCL function was developed to automatically generate the inner geometry of the wing based on the outer geometry created in step 1). the location of the spars and ribs could be changeable and treated as variables in a shape optimization context. independent of the mesh. These fields were then applied to the corresponding geometric surfaces as normal loads. and boundary conditions to the various parts of the model. The number of element properties was chosen according to the desired optimization complexity. The developed technique aimed at reducing the number of steps that were performed outside the pre-processing capabilities of PATRAN. This step was performed automatically using a developed PCL function. ii) The nodal forces were automatically oriented normal to the outer wing surface. The load distribution was stored in a tabular form. the finite element nodal points had to be relocated. NASTRAN5 in the current case. 3) Finite element model generation If the geometry of the wing changed. very accurate curves and surfaces were generated based on the points created. only one file needs to be transferred from aerodynamics to structures. The optimization process acted mainly on element properties and several elements could therefore be grouped and given same properties to limit the number of design variables. 4) Pressure loading import and application The application of the aerodynamic loads on the structural model was the most important step of the coupling procedure. load fields were created using a developed PCL function that extracted the appropriate information from the datatransfer file exported by the aerodynamics discipline.geometric points. and were applied directly to the geometry mode. and 65% of the wing chord length from the leading edge. Finally. the same data points were used for the geometry and pressure data transfer. To do this. Figure 4. Automatic model generation. A function written in PCL automatically created the mesh and assigned materials. was used to solve the updated structural problem. Accordingly. 4 AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF AERONAUTICS AND ASTRONAUTICS . For the case presented in this paper. The aerodynamic loads were kept as a distributed pressure load. element properties. A finite element solver. 1) Outer wing geometry import 2) Inner wing geometry generation 3) FE model generation 4) Pressure loading import and application 5) Analysis setting 5) Analysis setting The last step was to initialize the analysis parameters and create the analysis input file. Then. For simplification. the three spars were assumed to be located at 15%. as calculated by CFD. all points were removed from the database since they were no longer necessary. 40%.

and 3) optimization. Finally. The PK method was used for flutter calculations since it provided an easily definable flutter condition. The aerodynamic loading in the flutter analysis was computed using Doublet-Lattice theory. The analysis deck creation is fully automatic.and post-processing purposes. Structural optimization process flow-chart. Ten modes were calculated to ensure that all useful modes for flutter were obtained. The three types of operations are discussed below. All of the nodes of a flat plane lying inside the box were used for the air–structure interaction. performed by NASTRAN. This was done in the same way as the database was created in the initialization phase. without the pressure loading. 1 3 FE input file 2 Weight calculation Weight (Objective) Structural analysis Stress & displacements (Constraint) Flutter analysis Flutter speed (Constraint) Yes Weight Converged? No Design update (Optimization)) Figure 5. displacements.) if needed. A new analysis deck (NASTRAN input file) was generated after each aerodynamic analysis. As seen in this figure. In the present case. a static finite element analysis. mesh. A flow-chart of the process is presented in Figure 5. and MATLAB Optimization Toolbox6 was used for optimization. NASTRAN was used for analysis purposes. First. A methodology using PCL functions was developed to allow MATLAB to control the initialization phase. and a surface spline was used to transfer this loading to the wing box. As mentioned before. In the present stage. Because the examples in this paper involved structural sizing only. this step needed to be performed only once for each structural optimization. evaluated the stress and displacement distributions. a sequence of PATRAN operations written in PCL calculated the weight of the structure. During each flutter analysis. as implemented in NASTRAN. the structural input of the flutter analysis was the wing box model used for static optimization. 2) Analysis Geometry Initial or previous design FE database generation (Figure 4) Pressure distribution The second type of operations corresponded to the structural and flutter analysis of the design. With this methodology. Local modes were avoided by choosing appropriate element sizes. the flutter speed was determined using NASTRAN and MATLAB. the structural optimization could be divided into three types of operations: 1) initialization. it was in this initialization stage that the information from aerodynamics was transferred to structures. Second. stresses. flutter speed and the weight were extracted from the analysis. Everything was done automatically and could be executed as a background process. 2) analysis. a program written in MATLAB7 was used as the framework controlling the various operations and exchange of data. loads. Further. For the current case. 5 AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF AERONAUTICS AND ASTRONAUTICS . etc. which were not relevant to flutter. attention was paid to local and horizontal modes. PATRAN was used for pre. materials. any part of the PATRAN database could be changed (shape. which could be performed in the background without a graphical interface.STRUCTURAL OPTIMIZATION PROCESS 1) Initialization The structural optimization process encompassed several operations and used several software products. Horizontal modes were discarded from the NASTRTAN output by examining damping curves.

A description of the objective.10 in 0. The loading for this problem was multiplied by a load factor equal to 3. However. In the present case.04 in 0. 2) Design variables In addition to a set of fixed parameters. and ximin. displacements.10 in2 0.04 in 0.Lower skin 3. were included in the structural optimization formulation.20 in2 1. More variables will be included in the optimization model when the coupled design process becomes more mature. design variables. both surfaces of each element were considered. only seven variables were used to perform the structural optimization of the wing box at this stage. These variables and their bounds are listed in Table 3.00 in 1.Upper skin 2. The ith component of this vector. other requirements had to be met to ensure design feasibility. 16 stress values per elements were compared to the maximum and minimum allowable stresses. and constraints used in the wing box problem is given in the following section. STRUCTURAL OPTIMIZATION STATEMENT The objective of each structural optimization was to obtain the lightest feasible design. respectively. or 2560 constraints. if shape design variables. taking into consideration stress and displacement requirements. and the corresponding lower and upper bounds. the constraints were formulated differently for each type of components.Posts 6. are written as xi. Component 1.3) Optimization An optimization algorithm analyzed the output values obtained by NASTRAN and PATRAN and updated the wing box design for the next analysis step.80 in 0.3 corresponds to the structural overhead8. These parameters were assumed to take the following values: W0 = 100000 lb and WW = WWB * 1. It was assumed that the allowable stress. The optimization process was therefore achieved through a search in a design space spanned by these design variables. Constraints on the stresses. This value corresponded to the weight that was supported by one wing and was calculated as WT = W0 + WW where W0 corresponds to half of the basic airplane weight and WW to the wing weight.3 where WWB is the wing box weight calculated by PATRAN. For simplification. and flutter speed were considered in the present example. Therefore. 3) Constraints In addition to the bounds on the variables.04 in 0. the Sequentially Quadratic Programming (SQP) gradient-based algorithm of the MATLAB Optimization Toolbox was used. 6 AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF AERONAUTICS AND ASTRONAUTICS . the wing box design was fully represented by a vector of design variables bounded by maximum and minimum allowable values.00 in 1.Spar beams 7. The chosen load factor is typical for cargo and passengers aircraft9. ximax. Design variable definitions.80 in 1.Spar webs 5. for a specific aerodynamic load case. Furthermore. For the skins. full database updates were necessary.10 in Max 0. the major and minor principal stresses located at the corner of each element were used. 1) Objective The objective of the structural optimization was to minimize the “half-total weight” WT of the airplane. to consider the peak loads encountered during various flight maneuvers or caused by turbulent air. which the structural components could sustain. such as wing taper ratio or swept angle. resulting in 1280 values. This avoided the regeneration of the database in each iteration.5 times the yield stress of their constitutive materials. The factor 1. Also. This loop was performed until the optimal design was obtained.04 in 0. was equal to 1.00 in 0. The design modifications were done in the analysis deck only. The optimization statement is defined in the next section.Rib webs 4.00 in Table 3.Spar beams Variable thickness thickness thickness thickness area width height Min 0.

Initial and final designs.05 in 0. The processes for cases 1. The wing weight was reduced by a factor of 53% for Case 1. allowable value With this formulation. This resulted in 110 additional constraints.10 in 0. Weight change history. respectively. The initial and final wing box designs for these cases are listed in Table 4. . resulting in 55 values. resulting in 400 values.40 in 0. 110 displacement constraints. 91% for Case 2-1 and 51% for Case 2-2.10 in2 0. . and one flutter speed constraint in the optimization model. x 1234567WW: Initial 0. the maximum and minimum stresses at both ends were used.Wing weight (lb) Case 2-2 . Another constraint specified that the maximum deflection encountered in the model must be less than 5% of the wingspan. k = 1..Wing weight (lb) Case 2-1 . Each constraint.10 in 1149 lb Final 2-2 0. or 110 constraints. The second one (Case 2-2) used modifications in the mutation and crossover processes of the GA to screen the unreasonable pressure seeds1.10 in 0. The two cases described above were implemented. The variable numbers are defined in Table 3. respectively.04 in 0.04 in 0. modeled as shells. For the spar and rib webs. written as g.04 in 0.05 in 0. or 148 constraints. i = 1.04 in 0...36 in 0. resulting in 74 values.10 in2 0. and design variables x are given in the previous paragraphs. each containing an aerodynamics analysis/optimization and a structural optimization. all the constraints were scaled to the same order of magnitude. the maximum shear stress in each element was compared to the maximum allowable shear value.. 110 g ≤0 ximin ≤ xi ≤ ximax . They are: Case 1: structural optimization with aerodynamic and aeroelastic analysis.10 in2 0. AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF AERONAUTICS AND ASTRONAUTICS .10 in 0. 20000 18000 16000 14000 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 Case 1 . modeled as bars. 4) Statement The optimization problem can be stated as minimize WT(x) subject to gσj g δk f ≤ 0 . Finally.50 in 0.40 in 0. the last constraint stipulated that the flutter speed must be higher than the flight speed. RESULTS The multidisciplinary design of the wing was performed on a SGI Origin 2000 computer. 2-1 and 2-2 were completed in about 1. or 800 constraints. For the spar beams and stringers. modeled as rods.For the posts.10 in 6253 lb Table 4. The weight and drag coefficient iteration histories are illustrated in Figure 6 and Figure 7. 93 and 30 hours. displacement and flutter speed constraints gσj. gδk and gf.10 in 0. stress.33 in 0.36 in 0.33 in 0. two different ways of treating the air pressure were applied in Case 2... . 7 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Iteration number Figure 6. The complete multidisciplinary process required four loops for Case 1. There are a total of 3618 stress constraints. was normalized with respect to its allowable values as g = value – allowable value . Furthermore. ten loops for Case 2-1 and three loops for Case 2-2. the axial stress of each element was compared to the allowable tension and compression stresses.50 in 12315 lb Final 1 0.11 in 0.50 in 0. j = 1. 3618 ≤ 0 . The first one (Case 2-1) did not constrain the pressure distribution.10 in2 0.10 in 5678 lb Final 2-1 0. 7 Case 2: structural and aerodynamic optimization with aeroelastic analysis.50 in 0.Wing weight (lb) where the definitions of the objective WT.

0105 0.011 0. the resulting deformed wing box with associated von Mises stress distribution for the optimal wing box design of Case 1 is presented in Figure 9. resulting in a drag coefficient of 0. However. is also shown.25+04 4.75+04 9. It can be seen that the three cases started the MDO process in the same way.00+04 1.75+04 3. One reason is that the leading edge and the trailing edge were not considered in the wing box model. the aerodynamic loads were sufficiently changed after the first two loops to permit noticeable wing box weight reduction.012 0.013758.Patran 2000 r2 26-Mar-02 13:21:51 1. Furthermore.00+04 2. Wing box deformed shape and stress contours (Case 1). generated quite different convergent histories. the final air pressure distribution was not reasonable since it was not controlled in the optimization process. the first structural optimization reduced the weight of the wing box subject to the initial aerodynamics loads to 6231 lb.25+04 7.05+05 9.50+04 7.25+04 1. MSC.Drag coefficient sufficient to distribute the mass and stiffness in a manner that challenged the flutter constraint. However. both weight and drag converged rapidly and the air pressure distribution was improved. as determined by the aerodynamics processes. This weight was then used to solve the aerodynamics problem. Finally. Iteration number Figure 7. Similarly. This result outlined the importance of multidisciplinary analyses.0135 0. Initial and final wing cross-sections. More detailed explanations can be seen in the paper1. the pressure constraint was too restrictive since the weight and drag improvements were not as good as in Case 1.12+05 @Nd 59 Min 0.46-02 default_Fringe : Max 1. Another reason is that wing box design flexibility was not Z X Figure 9. the automatic model generation was a powerful tool allowing sizing and shape optimization 8 AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF AERONAUTICS AND ASTRONAUTICS . it is seen that the MDO process resulted in drag reduction. The optimal wing cross-section. Several advanced computational techniques were developed to ease the data transfer from aerodynamics to structures and to automate the operations.75+04 6. Drag coefficient change history.50+03 Y -1.50+04 3.01 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 0 100 200 300 -10 0 -20 x (in) Figure 8. Finally. the developed coupling techniques were effective and easily adaptable.Drag coefficient Case 2-1 . Furthermore.0115 0.86+01 @Nd 175 Case 2. the flutter speed was found to be significantly higher than the flight speed. as opposed to independent structural optimization.014 0. is illustrated in Figure 8. which is also the initial geometry for case 2-1 and 2-2.0125 Case 1 .00+04 8. For the three cases. these techniques minimized the risk of errors. @Nd 1 default_Deformation : Max 1. including aerodynamic wing shape optimization. Case 1 & case 2 original Case 2-1 final Case 2-2 final 20 10 y (in) 0. 5. The following aerodynamics step was different for all cases. For Case 1.12+05 0. the initial wing weight WW = 12315 lb was found. By maximizing the number of PATRAN internal operations.50+04 6. In Case 2-2. The Case 1 fixed geometry.013 0. First.0.Drag coefficient Case 2-2 . In Case 2-1 both weight and drag were reduced significantly more than in Case 1.12+05 1. CONCLUDING REMARKS A three-discipline coupled design process was established and successfully used in a simplified wing design.

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