Preliminary Sailplane Design Using MDO And Multi-Fidelity Analysis
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 12:25 authored by Chris V. Pilcher
A multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) strategy for the preliminary design of a sailplane has been developed. The proposed approach applies MDO techniques and multi-fidelity analysis methods which have seen successful use in many aerospace design applications. A customized genetic algorithm (GA) was developed to control the sailplane optimization that included aerodynamics/stability, structures/weights and balance and, performance/airworthiness disciplinary analysis modules. An adaptive meshing routine was developed to allow for accurate modeling of the aero structural couplinginvolved in wing design, which included a finite element method (FEM) structural solver along with a vortex lattice aerodynamics solver. Empirical equations were used to evaluate basic sailplane performance and airworthiness requirements. This research yielded an optimum design that correlated well with an existing high performance sailplane. The results of this thesis suggest that preliminary sailplane design is a well suited application for modern optimization techniques when coupled with, multi-fidelity analysis methods.