Aircraft morphing wing design by using partial topology optimization
Date of Issue2013
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
A morphing wing concept has been investigated over the last decade because it can effectively enhance aircraft aerodynamic performance over a wider range of flight conditions through structural flexibility. The internal structural layouts and component sizes of a morphing aircraft wing have an impact on aircraft performance i.e. aeroelastic characteristics, mechanical behaviors, and mass. In this paper, a novel design approach is proposed for synthesizing the internal structural layout of a morphing wing. The new internal structures are achieved by using two new design strategies. The first design strategy applies design variables for simultaneous partial topology and sizing optimization while the second design strategy includes nodal positions as design variables. Both strategies are based on a ground structure approach. A multiobjective optimization problem is assigned to optimize the percentage of change in lift effectiveness, buckling factor, and mass of a structure subject to design constraints including divergence and flutter speeds, buckling factors, and stresses. The design problem is solved by using multiobjective population-based incremental learning (MOPBIL). The Pareto optimum results of both strategies lead to different unconventional wing structures which are superior to their conventional counterparts. From the results, the design strategy that uses simultaneous partial topology, sizing, and shape optimization is superior to the others based on a hypervolume indicator. The aeroelastic parameters of the obtained morphing wing subject to external actuating torques are analyzed and it is shown that it is practicable to apply the unconventional wing structures for an aircraft.
Structural and multidisciplinary optimization