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Design and Trajectory Optimization of a Morphing Wing Aircraft

TitleDesign and Trajectory Optimization of a Morphing Wing Aircraft
Publication TypeConference Papers
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsJasa, JP, Hwang, JT, Martins, JRRA
Conference Name2018 AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference
Date Published01/2018
Conference LocationKissimmee, FL
Other NumbersAIAA 2018-1382

Adding morphing wing technology to aircraft could drastically reduce the fuel burn required to complete a certain mission. This gain comes from the wing being able to adapt to become optimal for the desired flight condition. For maximal benefit, we must design the wing, morphing inputs, and mission trajectory simultaneously. In this work, we perform gradient-based aerostructural optimization for a morphing Common Research Model wing while optimizing its nominal design, morphing twist across its mission, and its altitude profile. Using a morphing optimization approach that simultaneously optimizes the mission and design, we find a 0.2 to 0.7% fuel burn decrease compared to a non-morphing design optimization, where the benefit increases with range. We also compare the fully coupled optimization approach with a surrogate-based approach to determine if we can simplify the optimization problem while still arriving at the optimal result. We find that the surrogate-based approach finds an optimum within 1.5% of the optimum obtained from the fully coupled approach and that the difference is smaller for smaller ranges.

Citation KeyJasa2018a