Ongoing work in ultra-efficient subsonic and supersonic air-vehicles clearly shows the potential of evolutionary and revolutionary concepts to meet the performance goals of future aircraft. With their incorporation of lightweight flexible structures, such configurations may require active/adaptive control systems for load redistribution, flutter suppression and gust load alleviation to ensure reliability and safety. Unfortunately, contemporary analysis methods are unsuitable for aeroservoelastic analysis of such configurations. Design tools are dependent low-fidelity approaches that are inadequate for reliably analyzing advanced configurations, whereas CFD coupled to Finite Element structural models require significant user input to define and support advanced configurations, not to mention extensive computational resources. A new efficient approach that automates the geometry setup, mesh generation, and assembly of fluid-structural coupling interfaces is needed for aeroservoelastic analysis of conventional and new concepts. To address this critical need, Continuum Dynamics, Inc. proposes the development of a variable fidelity CFD-based aeroservoelastic analysis to support vehicle design, active/adaptive control effector design and integration, as well as wind-tunnel/flight testing and control system development. Building on CDI’s legacy in relevant areas, the project emphasizes technology development to streamlines workflows and minimize user involvement associated with mesh generation and coupling fluid and structural models on dissimilar grids.
The proposed effort directly supports several NASA projects: the Advanced Air Vehicle Program’s Advanced Air Transport Technologies (AATT) project developing the next generation of transport aircraft (i.e. truss-braced wing, joined-wing and blended wing body); the Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program’s Flight Demonstrations and Capabilities (FDC) Project, as well as the X-56, X-57 and X-59 aircraft. The proposed analysis will be able to assist in the design of new concepts and support wind-tunnel and flight tests.
The proposed effort will produce an aeroservoelastic analysis to design and evaluate advanced air-vehicle concepts that use structural flexure, novel control effectors and propulsion arrangements for performance enhancement and control. Substantial commercialization opportunities are anticipated from licensing the software and providing related support and engineering services.