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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

CFD-Based Over-Determined Trim Analysis for Optimum Aerodynamic Efficiency, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

The overall objective of this Phase I project is to develop a nonlinear trim module in FUN3D for enabling the determined and over-determined trim analyses to be performed by FUN3D with static aeroelastic effects. Based on an optimization formulation, the over-determined trim analysis can determine the optimum control surface scheduling of multiple control surfaces to achieve the best aerodynamic efficiency of the aircraft using the high-fidelity Navier-Stokes (N-S) solver in FUN3D. At the critical loads flight conditions, the optimum control surface scheduling can minimize the design loads; leading to a lighter and more flexible structural design. At the cruise conditions, the optimum control surface scheduling can aeroelastically deform the more flexible structure to an optimum shape for induced drag minimization at cruise. One non-conventional design concept under investigation by NASA is the Variable Camber Continuous Trailing Edge Flap (VCCTEF) system that utilizes multiple advanced actuators such as shape memory alloys (SMA) to achieve an optimum continuous deformed wing shape for obtaining the best aerodynamic efficiency. The VCCTEF design concept for the aerodynamic efficiency improvement will be ultimately verified by wind tunnel testing. However, such a wind tunnel testing will be impractically without a viable wind tunnel test plan that can provide a guideline for seeking the optimum actuation scheduling in the multi-dimensional design space. This viable wind tunnel test plan for testing the VCCTEF concept can be established by the FUN3D nonlinear trim module. More »

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