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Parametric Deformation of Discrete Geometry for Aerodynamic Shape DesignWe present a versatile discrete geometry manipulation platform for aerospace vehicle shape optimization. The platform is based on the geometry kernel of an open-source modeling tool called Blender and offers access to four parametric deformation techniques: lattice, cage-based, skeletal, and direct manipulation. Custom deformation methods are implemented as plugins, and the kernel is controlled through a scripting interface. Surface sensitivities are provided to support gradient-based optimization. The platform architecture allows the use of geometry pipelines, where multiple modelers are used in sequence, enabling manipulation difficult or impossible to achieve with a constructive modeler or deformer alone. We implement an intuitive custom deformation method in which a set of surface points serve as the design variables and user-specified constraints are intrinsically satisfied. We test our geometry platform on several design examples using an aerodynamic design framework based on Cartesian grids. We examine inverse airfoil design and shape matching and perform lift-constrained drag minimization on an airfoil with thickness constraints. A transport wing-fuselage integration problem demonstrates the approach in 3D. In a final example, our platform is pipelined with a constructive modeler to parabolically sweep a wingtip while applying a 1-G loading deformation across the wingspan. This work is an important first step towards the larger goal of leveraging the investment of the graphics industry to improve the state-of-the-art in aerospace geometry tools.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Anderson, George R. (Stanford Univ. Stanford, CA, United States)
Aftosmis, Michael J. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Nemec, Marian (Science and Technology Corp. Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
January 9, 2012
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting(Nashville, TN)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 106148.03.01.01
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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