Stochastic Methods for Aircraft Design

Pelz RB, Ogot M. "Stochastic Methods for Aircraft Design.". 1998.


The global stochastic optimization method, simulated annealing (SA), was adapted and applied to various problems in aircraft design. The research was aimed at overcoming the problem of finding an optimal design in a space with multiple minima and roughness ubiquitous to numerically generated nonlinear objective functions. SA was modified to reduce the number of objective function evaluations for an optimal design, historically the main criticism of stochastic methods. SA was applied to many CFD/MDO problems including: low sonic-boom bodies, minimum drag on supersonic fore-bodies, minimum drag on supersonic aeroelastic fore-bodies, minimum drag on HSCT aeroelastic wings, FLOPS preliminary design code, another preliminary aircraft design study with vortex lattice aerodynamics, HSR complete aircraft aerodynamics. In every case, SA provided a simple, robust and reliable optimization method which found optimal designs in order 100 objective function evaluations. Perhaps most importantly, from this academic/industrial project, technology has been successfully transferred; this method is the method of choice for optimization problems at Northrop Grumman.



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