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Shape optimization for aerodynamic efficiency and low observabilityField methods based on the finite-difference approximations of the time-domain Maxwell's equations and the potential-flow equation have been developed to solve the multidisciplinary problem of airfoil shaping for aerodynamic efficiency and low radar cross section (RCS). A parametric study and an optimization study employing the two analysis methods are presented to illustrate their combined capabilities. The parametric study shows that for frontal radar illumination, the RCS of an airfoil is independent of the chordwise location of maximum thickness but depends strongly on the maximum thickness, leading-edge radius, and leadingedge shape. In addition, this study shows that the RCS of an airfoil can be reduced without significant effects on its transonic aerodynamic efficiency by reducing the leading-edge radius and/or modifying the shape of the leading edge. The optimization study involves the minimization of wave drag for a non-lifting, symmetrical airfoil with constraints on the airfoil maximum thickness and monostatic RCS. This optimization study shows that the two analysis methods can be used effectively to design aerodynamically efficient airfoils with certain desired RCS characteristics.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Vinh, Hoang (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Van Dam, C. P. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Dwyer, Harry A. (California Univ. Davis, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1993
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
AIAA PAPER 93-3115
Meeting Information
AIAA, Fluid Dynamics Conference(Orlando, FL)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits