Record Details

Issues and Strategies in Solving Multidisciplinary Optimization Problems
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Author and Affiliation:
Patnaik, Surya(Ohio Aerospace Inst., Brook Park, OH, United States)
Abstract: Optimization research at NASA Glenn Research Center has addressed the design of structures, aircraft and airbreathing propulsion engines. The accumulated multidisciplinary design activity is collected under a testbed entitled COMETBOARDS. Several issues were encountered during the solution of the problems. Four issues and the strategies adapted for their resolution are discussed. This is followed by a discussion on analytical methods that is limited to structural design application. An optimization process can lead to an inefficient local solution. This deficiency was encountered during design of an engine component. The limitation was overcome through an augmentation of animation into optimization. Optimum solutions obtained were infeasible for aircraft and airbreathing propulsion engine problems. Alleviation of this deficiency required a cascading of multiple algorithms. Profile optimization of a beam produced an irregular shape. Engineering intuition restored the regular shape for the beam. The solution obtained for a cylindrical shell by a subproblem strategy converged to a design that can be difficult to manufacture. Resolution of this issue remains a challenge. The issues and resolutions are illustrated through a set of problems: Design of an engine component, Synthesis of a subsonic aircraft, Operation optimization of a supersonic engine, Design of a wave-rotor-topping device, Profile optimization of a cantilever beam, and Design of a cylindrical shell. This chapter provides a cursory account of the issues. Cited references provide detailed discussion on the topics. Design of a structure can also be generated by traditional method and the stochastic design concept. Merits and limitations of the three methods (traditional method, optimization method and stochastic concept) are illustrated. In the traditional method, the constraints are manipulated to obtain the design and weight is back calculated. In design optimization, the weight of a structure becomes the merit function with constraints imposed on failure modes and an optimization algorithm is used to generate the solution. Stochastic design concept accounts for uncertainties in loads, material properties, and other parameters and solution is obtained by solving a design optimization problem for a specified reliability. Acceptable solutions can be produced by all the three methods. The variation in the weight calculated by the methods was found to be modest. Some variation was noticed in designs calculated by the methods. The variation may be attributed to structural indeterminacy. It is prudent to develop design by all three methods prior to its fabrication. The traditional design method can be improved when the simplified sensitivities of the behavior constraint is used. Such sensitivity can reduce design calculations and may have a potential to unify the traditional and optimization methods. Weight versus reliability traced out an inverted-S-shaped graph. The center of the graph corresponded to mean valued design. A heavy design with weight approaching infinity could be produced for a near-zero rate of failure. Weight can be reduced to a small value for a most failure-prone design. Probabilistic modeling of load and material properties remained a challenge.
Publication Date: Apr 01, 2013
Document ID:
(Acquired May 15, 2013)
Report/Patent Number: NASA/CR-2013-217748, E-18529
Document Type: Technical Report
Contract/Grant/Task Num: NNC07BA13B; WBS 869021.; NNC07TA85T
Financial Sponsor: NASA Glenn Research Center; Cleveland, OH, United States
Organization Source: Ohio Aerospace Inst.; Brook Park, OH, United States
Description: 226p; In English; Original contains color and black and white illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Distribution under U.S. Government purpose rights; under NASA contract NNC07BA13B
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