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Session on High Speed Civil Transport Design Capability Using MDO and High Performance ComputingSince the inception of CAS in 1992, NASA Langley has been conducting research into applying multidisciplinary optimization (MDO) and high performance computing toward reducing aircraft design cycle time. The focus of this research has been the development of a series of computational frameworks and associated applications that increased in capability, complexity, and performance over time. The culmination of this effort is an automated high-fidelity analysis capability for a high speed civil transport (HSCT) vehicle installed on a network of heterogeneous computers with a computational framework built using Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) and Java. The main focus of the research in the early years was the development of the Framework for Interdisciplinary Design Optimization (FIDO) and associated HSCT applications. While the FIDO effort was eventually halted, work continued on HSCT applications of ever increasing complexity. The current application, HSCT4.0, employs high fidelity CFD and FEM analysis codes. For each analysis cycle, the vehicle geometry and computational grids are updated using new values for design variables. Processes for aeroelastic trim, loads convergence, displacement transfer, stress and buckling, and performance have been developed. In all, a total of 70 processes are integrated in the analysis framework. Many of the key processes include automatic differentiation capabilities to provide sensitivity information that can be used in optimization. A software engineering process was developed to manage this large project. Defining the interactions among 70 processes turned out to be an enormous, but essential, task. A formal requirements document was prepared that defined data flow among processes and subprocesses. A design document was then developed that translated the requirements into actual software design. A validation program was defined and implemented to ensure that codes integrated into the framework produced the same results as their standalone counterparts. Finally, a Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) configuration management system was used to organize the software development. A computational environment, CJOPT, based on the Common Object Request Broker Architecture, CORBA, and the Java programming language has been developed as a framework for multidisciplinary analysis and Optimization. The environment exploits the parallelisms inherent in the application and distributes the constituent disciplines on machines best suited to their needs. In CJOpt, a discipline code is "wrapped" as an object. An interface to the object identifies the functionality (services) provided by the discipline, defined in Interface Definition Language (IDL) and implemented using Java. The results of using the HSCT4.0 capability are described. A summary of lessons learned is also presented. The use of some of the processes, codes, and techniques by industry are highlighted. The application of the methodology developed in this research to other aircraft are described. Finally, we show how the experience gained is being applied to entirely new vehicles, such as the Reusable Space Transportation System. Additional information is contained in the original.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Rehder, Joe (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 2000
Subject Category
Aircraft Design, Testing and Performance
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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