|Optimization of Laminated Composite Aircraft Structures|
In this application brief, a new strategy is presented for using HEEDS MDO to optimize composite aircraft structural components.
This approach yielded designs that were lighter and higher performing than those found with a manual design process. The systematic approach to the setup and solution ensured that the final design was efficient and conformed to the manufacturability constraints.
The result was a lighter aircraft design, with mass savings of 3% in the tail, 12% in the wing and 9% in the fuselage.
Read the entire brief
Optimization Viewpoints Blog
by Ron Averill
You may have heard the story about the woman who always sliced about one inch off the end of a large roast before placing it in the pan to be cooked. When asked why she did this, she did not know the reason. But she was sure that it was important, because her mother always did exactly the same thing.
A phone call to the woman's grandmother revealed the true reason why two subsequent generations of cooks always cut off the end of a roast before cooking it. The grandmother explained, "A long time ago, the only size of roast at the local store was too large to fit in my pan. So I had to cut a bit off the end in order to cook it. I haven't had to do that in years!"
I'll bet the entire family had a good laugh about this situation. Many years ago, there was a really good reason to cut off the end of the roast, but that reason didn't exist anymore. Yet that step in the process was passed down to future generations, as though it were crucial to the success of the meal.
There are probably many situations in which current limitations give rise to a process that continues to be used long after those limitations are gone. Often the facts become blurred and the philosophical reasoning becomes stronger, so no one questions whether the process is valid. A paradigm is created that is not easily broken.
For example, it is still common today to perform a sensitivity study prior to numerical optimization. This process has existed for several decades and has been passed down through generations of engineers. The goal of a sensitivity study is to identify the variables that have the most influence on the performance of the system being optimized. The standard reasoning is that these variables are the ones that should be used during the optimization study, while the others can be neglected. Let's explore the soundness of this process.
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