Biomimetic Adaptive Airframe Technologies (BAAT) for Rotorcraft Design and Optimization Conference Paper uri icon


  • Mission-adaptive aerostructural design considers the alteration of structural geometries to improve multi-objective performance across multiple aerodynamic environments associated with flight conditions derived from specific mission profiles. To accomplish this, adaptive structures design requires evaluating the aerostructural responses for each possible geometry to determine the optimal configuration for each mission stage. This work develops a mission-driven design framework combining aerodynamic, structural, mission, and optimization computational tools to design and optimize adaptive vertical lift aerostructures. Aerodynamic conditions and vehicle properties are driven or defined by mission requirements, where a mission is defined as a sequence of specified flight phases (inputs) with a unique set of performance objectives (outputs). Aerodynamic and structural analysis tools iteratively trim the vehicle for each mission phase while considering desired geometric changes, viable actuation methods, and actuator sizing required. Together these comprise a complete structural description. Preferred geometries for each mission phase are then determined via optimization to improve performance metrics defined by mission objectives and requirements. The computational framework searches algorithmically for structural configurations that improve mission-driven objectives based on trim flight for each mission phase using a novel algorithm to consider both adaptive and fixed design variable selection to effectively solve this complex design problem. It will be shown that both the optimal placement of adaptive structures and levels of morphing can be determined concurrently via a novel optimization and postprocessing procedure, leading to mission-wide performance improvements (in this case, reduced required power) not possible with static structures.

name of conference

  • Proceedings of the Vertical Flight Society 78th Annual Forum

published proceedings

  • Proceedings of the Vertical Flight Society 78th Annual Forum

author list (cited authors)

  • Davis, A., Benedict, M., Hartl, D., & Lee, B.

complete list of authors

  • Davis, Allen||Benedict, Moble||Hartl, Darren||Lee, Bochan

publication date

  • May 2022