Team 1: Supersonic design

Wednesday, August 8, 2007 - 9:40am - 10:00am
EE/CS 3-180
Natalia Alexandrov (NASA Langley Research Center)
Designing affordable, efficient, quiet supersonic passenger
aircraft has been under investigation for many years.
Obstacles to designing such aircraft are also many, both in
fundamental physics and in computational science and
engineering. The problem of design is multidisciplinary in its
nature and the goals of the constituent disciplines that govern
the behavior of an aircraft are often at odds. In particular,
aircraft that yields low sonic boom may not be attractive
aerodynamically, while aerodynamically optimized aircraft may
produce unacceptable sonic boom. One of the essential
difficulties in using direct optimization methods to design for
low boom and low drag is in modeling the design problem. For
instance, it is not clear what objective functions to use.

Some Early Boom Shaping
Developments (Ferri, 1969)

This project will use simple aerodynamic and sonic boom models
to examine modeling of the design problem itself. We will
attempt to establish a meaningful direct functional dependence
between the shape of the aircraft and aerodynamic and noise
quantities of interest by studying the sensitivity of these
quantities to changes in shape. We will experiment with several
direct multiobjective optimization problem formulations.


  1. Seebass, R., Argrow, B.; Sonic Boom Minimization
    Revisited, AIAA Paper 98-2956

  2. Shepherd, K.P., Sullivan, B.M.; A Loudness Calculation
    Procedure Applied to Shaped Sonic Booms, NASA Technical Paper
    3134, 1991

  3. Carlson, H.W., Maglieri, D.J.; Review of Sonic Boom
    Generation Theory and Prediction Methods, J. Acoust. Soc.
    Amer., 51, pp. 675-685 (1972)

  4. Alonso, J.J., Kroo, I.M., Jameson, A. Advanced Algorithms
    for Design and Optimization of Quiet Supersonic Platform, 40th
    AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, AIAA Paper
    2002-0144, Reno, NV, January 2002

  5. Raymer, D.P.; Aircraft Design: a Conceptual Approach,
    Third Edition, AIAA, 1999


Required: Scientific computing skills (Matlab or
Fortran 90/95
or C), 1 semester in nonlinear optimization

Desired: Some background in statistical modeling,
analysis, multiobjective optimization

Keywords: multidisciplinary optimization, supersonic
low boom, aerodynamic optimization