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Probabilistic Design of a Wind Tunnel Model to Match the Response of a Full-Scale Aircraftapproach is presented for carrying out the reliability-based design of a plate-like wing that is part of a wind tunnel model. The goal is to design the wind tunnel model to match the stiffness characteristics of the wing box of a flight vehicle while satisfying strength-based risk/reliability requirements that prevents damage to the wind tunnel model and fixtures. The flight vehicle is a modified F/A-18 aircraft. The design problem is solved using reliability-based optimization techniques. The objective function to be minimized is the difference between the displacements of the wind tunnel model and the corresponding displacements of the flight vehicle. The design variables control the thickness distribution of the wind tunnel model. Displacements of the wind tunnel model change with the thickness distribution, while displacements of the flight vehicle are a set of fixed data. The only constraint imposed is that the probability of failure is less than a specified value. Failure is assumed to occur if the stress caused by aerodynamic pressure loading is greater than the specified strength allowable. Two uncertain quantities are considered: the allowable stress and the thickness distribution of the wind tunnel model. Reliability is calculated using Monte Carlo simulation with response surfaces that provide approximate values of stresses. The response surface equations are, in turn, computed from finite element analyses of the wind tunnel model at specified design points. Because the response surface approximations were fit over a small region centered about the current design, the response surfaces were refit periodically as the design variables changed. Coarse-grained parallelism was used to simultaneously perform multiple finite element analyses. Studies carried out in this paper demonstrate that this scheme of using moving response surfaces and coarse-grained computational parallelism reduce the execution time of the Monte Carlo simulation enough to make the design problem tractable. The results of the reliability-based designs performed in this paper show that large decreases in the probability of stress-based failure can be realized with only small sacrifices in the ability of the wind tunnel model to represent the displacements of the full-scale vehicle.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Mason, Brian H. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Stroud, W. Jefferson (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Krishnamurthy, T. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Spain, Charles V. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Naser, Ahmad S. (Lockheed Martin Space Operations Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2005
Subject Category
Aircraft Design, Testing and Performance
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper 2005-2185
Meeting Information
46th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference(Austin, TX)
Funding Number(s)
OTHER: 23-064-10-23
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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