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Displacement based multilevel structural optimizationMultidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) is expected to play a major role in the competitive transportation industries of tomorrow, i.e., in the design of aircraft and spacecraft, of high speed trains, boats, and automobiles. All of these vehicles require maximum performance at minimum weight to keep fuel consumption low and conserve resources. Here, MDO can deliver mathematically based design tools to create systems with optimum performance subject to the constraints of disciplines such as structures, aerodynamics, controls, etc. Although some applications of MDO are beginning to surface, the key to a widespread use of this technology lies in the improvement of its efficiency. This aspect is investigated here for the MDO subset of structural optimization, i.e., for the weight minimization of a given structure under size, strength, and displacement constraints. Specifically, finite element based multilevel optimization of structures (here, statically indeterminate trusses and beams for proof of concept) is performed. In the system level optimization, the design variables are the coefficients of assumed displacement functions, and the load unbalance resulting from the solution of the stiffness equations is minimized. Constraints are placed on the deflection amplitudes and the weight of the structure. In the subsystems level optimizations, the weight of each element is minimized under the action of stress constraints, with the cross sectional dimensions as design variables. This approach is expected to prove very efficient, especially for complex structures, since the design task is broken down into a large number of small and efficiently handled subtasks, each with only a small number of variables. This partitioning will also allow for the use of parallel computing, first, by sending the system and subsystems level computations to two different processors, ultimately, by performing all subsystems level optimizations in a massively parallel manner on separate processors. It is expected that the subsystems level optimizations can be further improved through the use of controlled growth, a method which reduces an optimization to a more efficient analysis with only a slight degradation in accuracy. The efficiency of all proposed techniques is being evaluated relative to the performance of the standard single level optimization approach where the complete structure is weight minimized under the action of all given constraints by one processor and to the performance of simultaneous analysis and design which combines analysis and optimization into a single step. It is expected that the present approach can be expanded to include additional structural constraints (buckling, free and forced vibration, etc.) or other disciplines (passive and active controls, aerodynamics, etc.) for true MDO.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Striz, Alfred G.
(Oklahoma Univ. Norman, OK United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1995
Publication Information
Publication: The 1995 NASA-ODU American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Summer Faculty Fellowship Program
Subject Category
Computer Programming And Software
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19960020755Analytic PrimaryThe 1995 NASA-ODU American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Summer Faculty Fellowship Program
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