Optimizing rotor blades with approximate British experimental rotor programme tips

Johnson, C. S. and Barakos, G. N. (2014) Optimizing rotor blades with approximate British experimental rotor programme tips. Journal of Aircraft, 51(2), pp. 447-463. (doi: 10.2514/1.C032042)

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This work presents a framework for the optimization of certain aspects of a British Experimental Rotor Programme-like rotor blade in hover and forward flight so that maximum performance can be obtained from the blade. The proposed method employs a high-fidelity, efficient computational fluid dynamics technique that uses the harmonic balance method in conjunction with artificial neural networks as metamodels, and genetic algorithms for optimization. The approach has been previously demonstrated for the optimization of blade twist in hover and the optimization of rotor sections in forward flight, transonic aerofoils design, wing and rotor tip planforms. In this paper, a parameterization technique was devised for the British Experimental Rotor Programme-like rotor tip and its parameters were optimized for a forward flight case. A specific objective function was created using the initial computational fluid dynamics data and the metamodel was used for evaluating the objective function during the optimization using the genetic algorithms. The objective function was adapted to improve forward flight performance in terms of pitching moment and torque. The obtained results suggest optima in agreement with engineering intuition but provide precise information about the shape of the final lifting surface and its performance. The main computational cost was associated with the population of the genetic algorithms database necessary for the metamodel, especially because a full factorial method was used. The computational time of the optimization process itself, after the database has been obtained, is relatively insignificant. Therefore, the computational time was reduced with the use of the harmonic balance method as opposed to the time marching method. The novelty in this paper is two-fold. Optimization methods so far have used simple aerodynamic models employing direct “calls” to the aerodynamic models within the optimization loops. Here, the optimization has been decoupled from the computational fluid dynamics data allowing the use of higher-fidelity computational fluid dynamics methods based on Navier–Stokes computational fluid dynamics. This allows a more realistic approach for more complex geometries such as the British Experimental Rotor Programme tip. In addition, the harmonic balance method has been used in the optimization process. Read More: http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/1.C032042

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barakos, Professor George
Authors: Johnson, C. S., and Barakos, G. N.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Autonomous Systems and Connectivity
Journal Name:Journal of Aircraft
Publisher:American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
ISSN (Online):1533-3868

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