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Development and validation of an efficient direct numerical optimisation approach for aerofoil shape design

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 February 2016

M. Khurana
Affiliation:, The Sir Lawrence Wackett Aerospace Centre, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
H. Winarto
Affiliation:, The Sir Lawrence Wackett Aerospace Centre, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia


Intelligent shape optimisation architecture is developed, validated and applied in the design of high-altitude long endurance aerofoil (HALE). The direct numeric optimisation (DNO) approach integrating a geometrical shape parameterisation model coupled to a validated flow solver and a population based search algorithm are applied in the design process. The merit of the DNO methodology is measured by computational time efficiency and feasibility of the optimal solution. Gradient based optimisers are not suitable for multi-modal solution topologies. Thus, a novel particle swarm optimiser with adaptive mutation (AM-PSO) is developed. The effect of applying the PARSEC and a modified variant of the original function, as a shape parameterisation model on the global optimal is verified. Optimisation efficiency is addressed by mapping the solution topology for HALE aerofoil designs and by computing the sensitivity of aerofoil shape variables on the objective function. Variables with minimal influence are identified and eliminated from shape optimisation simulations. Variable elimination has a negligible effect on the aerodynamics of the global optima, with a significant reduction in design iterations to convergence. A novel data-mining technique is further applied to verify the accuracy of the AM-PSO solutions. The post-processing analysis, to swarm optimisation solutions, indicates a hybrid optimisation methodology with the integration of global and local gradient based search methods, yields a true optima. The findings are consistent for single and multi-point designs.

Research Article
Copyright © Royal Aeronautical Society 2010 

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