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posted on 13.08.2019, 19:20 by Viraj Dipakbhai Gandhi
Within the aerospace design, analysis and optimization community, there is an increasing demand to finalize the preliminary design phase of the wing as quickly as possible without losing much on accuracy. This includes rapid generation of designs, an early adaption of higher fidelity models and automation in structural analysis of the internal structure of the wing. To perform the structural analysis, the aerodynamic load can be transferred to the wing using many different methods. Generally, for preliminary analysis, indirect load transfer method is used and for detailed analysis, direct load transfer method is used. For the indirect load transfer method, load is discretized using shear-moment-torque (SMT) curve and applied to ribs of the wing. For the direct load transfer method, the load is distributed using one-way Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI) and applied to the skin of the wing. In this research, structural analysis is performed using both methods and the nodal displacement is compared. Further, to optimize the internal structure, iterative changes are made in the number of structural members. To accommodate these changes in geometry as quickly as possible, the parametric design method is used through Engineering SketchPad (ESP). ESP can also provide attributions the geometric feature and generate multi-fidelity models consistently. ESP can generate the Nastran mesh file (.bdf) with the nodes and the elements grouped according to their geometric attributes. In this research, utilizing the attributions and consistency in multi-fidelity models an API is created between ESP and Nastran to automatize the multi-fidelity structural optimization. This API generates the design with appropriate parameters and mesh file using ESP. Through the attribution in the mesh file, the API works as a pre-processor to apply material properties, boundary condition, and optimization parameters. The API sends the mesh file to Nastran and reads the results file to iterate the number of the structural member in design. The result file is also used to transfer the nodal deformation from lower-order fidelity structural models onto the higher-order ones to have multi-fidelity optimization. Here, static structural optimization on the whole wing serves as lower fidelity model and buckling optimization on each stiffened panel serves as higher fidelity model. To further extend this idea, a parametric model of the whole aircraft is also created.


AFRL: FA8050-14-C-2472: “CAPS: Computational Aircraft Prototype Syntheses”


Degree Type

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Campus location


Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Hamid Dalir

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Dr. John Dannenhoffer

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Carlos Larriba-Andaluz