Optimisation of Aircraft Structures - Engineering Assessment Answer
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Minimum mass design of aerospace structures reduces the cost of materials and manufacturing. More significantly, it reduces the fuel consumption and environmental impact of the aircraft. Modern aircraft make increasing use of advanced lightweight materials such as carbon-fibre composites, which can be tailored to specific loading requirements. Optimum design, therefore, involves the adjustment of many more design variables than for metal structures and, even with today's computers, computation times for the underlying analysis can be prohibitive. So there is a need for reliable, efficient, approximate methods so that designers can quickly explore alternative configuration before carrying out a more detailed analysis of the most promising ones. The students carrying out this project will work with special-purpose analysis software(VICONOPT) which has been developed through collaboration with NASA and Airbus.
Starting with measurements from a real aircraft wing panel, attempts will be made to reduce the mass by altering the geometry of the cross-section, e.g. by varying the number and type of longitudinal stiffeners.topic to be explored is the optimisation of the stacking sequences in a composite structure using lamination parameters to represent the stiffness properties of each component plate. A two-stage process is envisaged, in which (I ) VICONOPT is used to find
optimal values of the lamination parameters, and (2) a stacking sequence which matches these optimal values is chosen using a locally written MATLAB program. Altemativesolution strategies will be explored in order to reduce the computation time for large problems.
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