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Cascade Optimization Strategy for Aircraft and Air-Breathing Propulsion System ConceptsDesign optimization for subsonic and supersonic aircraft and for air-breathing propulsion engine concepts has been accomplished by soft-coupling the Flight Optimization System (FLOPS) and the NASA Engine Performance Program analyzer (NEPP), to the NASA Lewis multidisciplinary optimization tool COMETBOARDS. Aircraft and engine design problems, with their associated constraints and design variables, were cast as nonlinear optimization problems with aircraft weight and engine thrust as the respective merit functions. Because of the diversity of constraint types and the overall distortion of the design space, the most reliable single optimization algorithm available in COMETBOARDS could not produce a satisfactory feasible optimum solution. Some of COMETBOARDS' unique features, which include a cascade strategy, variable and constraint formulations, and scaling devised especially for difficult multidisciplinary applications, successfully optimized the performance of both aircraft and engines. The cascade method has two principal steps: In the first, the solution initiates from a user-specified design and optimizer, in the second, the optimum design obtained in the first step with some random perturbation is used to begin the next specified optimizer. The second step is repeated for a specified sequence of optimizers or until a successful solution of the problem is achieved. A successful solution should satisfy the specified convergence criteria and have several active constraints but no violated constraints. The cascade strategy available in the combined COMETBOARDS, FLOPS, and NEPP design tool converges to the same global optimum solution even when it starts from different design points. This reliable and robust design tool eliminates manual intervention in the design of aircraft and of air-breathing propulsion engines where it eases the cycle analysis procedures. The combined code is also much easier to use, which is an added benefit. This paper describes COMETBOARDS and its cascade strategy and illustrates the capability of the combined design tool through the optimization of a subsonic aircraft and a high-bypass-turbofan wave-rotor-topped engine.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Patnaik, Surya N.
(Ohio Aerospace Inst. Cleveland, OH United States)
Lavelle, Thomas M.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Hopkins, Dale A.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Coroneos, Rula M.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1996
Subject Category
Structural Mechanics
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper 96-4145
NAS 1.15:107278
Meeting Information
Meeting: Symposium on Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization
Location: Bellevue, WA
Country: United States
Start Date: September 4, 1996
End Date: September 6, 1996
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, ISSO, USAS
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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