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Matrix-free aerostructural optimization of aircraft wings

TitleMatrix-free aerostructural optimization of aircraft wings
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLambe, AB, Martins, JRRA
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Date PublishedMarch

In structural optimization subject to failure constraints, computing the gradients of a large number of functions with respect to a large number of design variables may not be computationally practical. Often, the number of constraints in these optimization problems is reduced using constraint aggregation at the expense of a higher mass of the optimal structural design. This work presents results of structural and coupled aerodynamic and structural design optimization of aircraft wings using a novel matrix-free augmented Lagrangian optimizer. By using a matrix-free optimizer, the computation of the full constraint Jacobian at each iteration is replaced by the computation of a small number of Jacobian-vector products. The low cost of the Jacobian-vector products allows optimization problems with thousands of failure constraints to be solved directly, mitigating the effects of constraint aggregation. The results indicate that the matrix-free optimizer reduces the computational work of solving the optimization problem by an order of magnitude compared to a traditional sequential quadratic programming optimizer. Furthermore, the use of a matrix-free optimizer makes the solution of large multidisciplinary design problems, in which gradient information must be obtained through iterative methods, computationally tractable.


Citation KeyLambe2016