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Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Of A Helicopter Rotor Blade

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posted on 22.05.2021, 15:41 by Michael G. Leahy
Multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) was performed on a helicopter rotor blade. The blade was modeled as a rigid flapping blade for dynamics; Blade Element Theory (BET) was the analysis approach to model the aerodynamic loading, and a simple linearly elastic hollowed rectangular section was the main structural component. MATLAB was used to solve the flapping differential equations and its Sequential Quadratic Programming (SQP) and Genetic Algorithm (GA) were used for the optimization. A Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) routine was also tested. The optimization process consisted of three cases. The first case was a simple cantilever beam under centrifugal and an assumed bending loads. The optimization was performed using the SQP, GA, and PSO algorithms. The SQP resulted in the superior design with 75.45 compared to the GA's 87.1 and the PSO's 79.2, but a local minimum was present. The second case was an expansion of the first case by turning it into multidisciplinary problem. Aerodynamics was included in the design variables and objective function. Only the SQP algorithm was used and there was a reduction in hub vertical shear by 33.6%. The blade mass increased by 36.84%. The last case was an improvement to the second by creating a multiobjective problem by including the hub radial shear and the results were improved significantly by reducing the hub vertical shear by 34.06% and radial shear by 17.87% with a reduction of blade mass by 23.86%.





Master of Applied Science


Aerospace Engineering

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type