NASA STTR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 T2.01-9980
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Foundational Research for Aeronautics Experimental Capabilities
PROPOSAL TITLE: Extension of an Object Oriented Multidisciplinary Analysis Optimization (MDAO) Environment

NAME: ZONA Technology, Inc. NAME: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
STREET: 9489 E. Ironwood Square Drive STREET: 1880 Pratt Drive, Suite 2006
CITY: Scottsdale CITY: Blackburg
STATE/ZIP: AZ  85258 - 4578 STATE/ZIP: VA  24061 - 0203
PHONE: (480) 945-9988 PHONE: (540) 231-5281

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dong-Hwan Lee

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 6
End: 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Multidisciplinary design, analysis, and optimization (MDAO) tools today possess limited disciplines with little fidelity modeling capability. These tools are typically developed as a single large software application that performs analysis for all disciplines but has little or no capability to integrate multi-fidelity and multi-discipline components that have already been developed as stand-alone analysis codes. Even though a multitude of tools have been developed and well adapted to the interdisciplinary aircraft design/analysis, they have not been developed to work together.
The objective of the development of the MDAO tool is to generate a "central executive" that can integrate disparate software packages in a cross platform network environment so as to perform optimization and design tasks in a cohesive streamlined manner. This object-oriented framework can integrate the analysis codes for multiple disciplines, instead of relying on one code to perform the analysis for all disciplines.
ZONA Technology and its team member Virginia Polytechnic Institute propose to develop three object-oriented components that will fully leverage tools currently under development within NASA's MDAO framework. The three major components are:
(1) an automatic re-meshing tool that can provide a fast and efficient mesh generation capability for complex structures like curved panels with curved stiffeners and aircraft wings of any shape with curved spars and ribs.
(2) a hybrid optimization tool that combines a non-gradient based optimization method and a gradient based optimization method. The advantage of this hybrid optimization is that a global optimum point can be achieved through the non-gradient optimization and acceleration of the convergence can be obtained by aiding gradient based optimization algorithm.
(3) a fast transonic unsteady aerodynamics method for accurate aeroelastic analysis and shape sensitivity information due to the change of external wing shape.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA has recognized the benefit of utilizing commercial engineering applications within an MDAO environment. The proposed enhanced NASA MDAO framework will allow NASA to further leverage existing tools that can directly be applied for sizing and/or shape optimization of aircraft while considering multi-disciplinary analyses such as flutter, static aerodynamic loads, stress, strain, and buckling in conceptual and/or preliminary design phases.
The proposed enhanced NASA MDAO framework with its robust automatic re-meshing tool providing fast and efficient mesh generation of complex internal structures, its hybrid optimization tool combining a non-gradient, and its gradient based method for faster solutions, and a fast transonic unsteady aerodynamics method for accurate aeroelastic analysis and shape sensitivity information will allow NASA to more rapidly modify existing and/or new aircraft structures while obtaining a higher level of fidelity in the optimized solutions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The object-oriented MDAO framework for producing multi-fidelity unsteady aerodynamic loads and rapid Aeroelastic/Aeroservoelastic shape design of complex flight vehicles is a necessary tool throughout the aerospace industry. Such a tool is still non-existent, leading to a gap in practically every current flight vehicle MDAO capability. The MDAO framework will be developed in the Phase I can be such a commercialized product. If the proposed effort is a success, the developed MDAO framework can be directly employed for conceptual and/or preliminary design of aircraft considering multi-disciplines like flutter, static aerodynamic loads, stress, strain, buckling, etc.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Simulation Modeling Environment
Structural Modeling and Tools

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