Conference Paper

Multipoint Aerostructural Optimization for Urban Air Mobility Vehicle Design


B. Pacini, M. Prajapati, K. Duraisamy, J. R. R. A. Martins, and P. He


AIAA Scitech Forum 2023, 2023



Many urban air mobility vehicle designs include several rotors and propellers integrated with complex fuselage, wing, and appendage geometries. These designs feature advanced technologies that demand further modeling and understanding of optimization tradeoffs. Given the complexity of the vehicle geometries being developed as well as the advanced materials used for integral components, aerostructural analysis and optimization can provide insight into the performance of urban air mobility vehicles, and how the structure and lifting surfaces can be designed to further improve vehicle efficiency. This work details an aerostructural optimization toolchain built with the MACH and OpenMDAO tools, embedded within the high-fidelity modeling and optimization framework called MPhys. This multiphysics analysis and optimization framework is used to perform aerostructural optimization of advanced vehicles, using DAFoam, a discrete adjoint implementation for OpenFOAM, as well as TACS, a finite element solver developed for gradient-based optimization of composite structures. These tools are applied to the NASA tiltwing concept vehicle to optimize the design of the wing considering structural deflection.