Design innovative and revolutionary complex systems by integrating future technologies in order to answer societal grand challenges while satisfying stakeholders' requirements. The graduates of this program are expected to become highly qualified professionals that will provide innovative cost-effective solutions to tomorrow’s problems.
This vision will be accomplished by gathering multi-disciplinary teams using multi-physics and variable fidelity modeling and simulation environments to explore complex vehicle design spaces in a structured and efficient manner. This division is divided into six branches:
- Design for Autonomy
- Unmanned Aircraft Systems
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Experimental Facilities and Research
- Fixed Wing Design
- Rotorcraft Technologies and Design
Dr. Santiago Balestrini-Robinson
Advanced Concept Division Chief, Acting
Dr. Hernando Jimenez
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Branch Lead
Dr. Kyle Collins
Rotorcraft Technology Branch Lead
Ms. Johanna Ceisel
Advanced Manufacturing Branch Lead
Mr. Carl Johnson
Experimental Facilities and Research
Advanced Concepts Branches
Manufacturing Influenced Design (MInD) Branch
Integrate product and manufacturing process design throughout conceptual, preliminary, and detailed design.
Traditionally, the role of manufacturing has been focused to the late stages of aircraft design when both the external and internal structural layout has been well-defined. The primary goal of conceptual and preliminary aircraft design was to minimize the aircraft weight. This is acceptable when the cost of manufacturing is directly proportional to the weight. But with the arrival of advanced materials and processes, the cost is no longer directly proportional to the aircraft weight. Considering manufacturing criteria in the later stages of the design process has cost many companies millions in design revisions. In an effort to understand tradeoffs between design and manufacturing, cost drivers for parametric vehicles are assessed using high fidelity, process based manufacturing models. In addition, physics based modeling and surrogate modeling are leveraged for rapid multi-disciplinary trades and advanced data visualization. The branch’s goal is to enhance conceptual and preliminary design phases by incorporating appropriate manufacturing criteria at the different design phases to better assess performance, cost, and risk.
- Ms. Johanna Ceisel, Advanced Manufacturing Branch Lead
Technical Lead for DARPA META sponsored Manufacturing Research and Boeing sponsored Manufacturing Influenced Design Research
- Dr. Zhimin Liu, Structures and Manufacturing
Technical Lead for Triumph sponsored Integrated Structural Sizing and Manufacturing research and co-lead for Boeing sponsored Manufacturing Influenced Design Research
- Integration of design for manufacturing from conceptual to detailed design
- Air and ground vehicles multi-disciplinary modeling and simulation
- Structural modeling and optimization
- Manufacturing assembly and fabrication process and cost modeling
- Manufacturing facility design and production scheduling optimization
- Supplier network modeling and optimization
- Sustainment cost modeling
- Sustainment supply chain modeling and optimization
- Risk in MInD – robust design for performance and manufacturing
Current Research Programs
Boeing sponsored Manufacturing Influenced Design Research
- Develop manufacturing influenced design methodology with support from Boeing’s knowledge in design and manufacturing
- Develop approach to abstract manufacturing knowledge resides in detail level to match the fidelity and definitions in early phase of design
- Develop integrated aircraft design and manufacturing trade tool
- Trades include aluminum and composite designs with respective manufacturing processes
Triumph sponsored Integrated Structural Sizing and Manufacturing Research
- Develop parametric structural geometry modeling tool based on Triumph’s design experience
- Integrate geometry tool and Triumph’s structural sizing routines
- Develop parametric manufacturing process and cost models and their surrogate models to rapidly estimate manufacturing costs for the structures
- Develop integrated structural sizing and manufacturing trade tool and perform design study
DARPA META sponsored Manufacturing Research
- Develop parametric air and ground vehicle designs to feed manufacturing modeling
- Develop parametric manufacturing process models and cost estimation
- Develop integrated design for manufacturing trade environment and visualization
- Zhimin Liu, Philipp Witte, Johanna Ceisel, Dimitri N. Mavris, “An Approach to Infuse Manufacturing Considerations into Aircraft Structural Design”, SAMPE 2011 Conference, Long Beach, California, May 23-26
- Robert Combier, Johanna Ceisel, Zhimin Liu, Dimitri Mavris, “A Probabilistic Risk-based Methodology for Manufacturing Influenced Aircraft Design”, SAMPE 2011 Conference, Long Beach, California, May 23-26
Rotorcraft Technology Branch
Quantitative Technology Assessment for Joint Multi-Role Rotorcraft
The Joint Multi Role (JMR) family of vertical lift aircraft is a group of as many as 4 future vehicles intended to fulfill all the vertical lift needs of the Department of Defense. The Army in particular presently has a highly diverse fleet of helicopters and unmanned vehicles which incur high costs due to their high utilization and lack of commonality. A family of aircraft with common architecture has the potential to reduce costs for parts, maintenance, and training, but must also include improved performance and flexibility if it is to perform the same mission roles currently occupied by a wide array of specialized vehicles.
New technologies must be implemented in order to meet the required improvements in vehicle performance. ASDL is using the NASA Design and Analysis of Rotocraft (NDARC) code to identify rotorcraft technologies at the component level that offer the biggest impact in terms of performance such as increased speed, range, and payload. The goal of this analysis is to quantify the possible benefits of specific technologies such as advanced turboshaft engines, flow control, and high efficiency drive systems with respect to attributes affecting performance such as fuel consumption, airframe drag, and hover and cruise efficiency. Cost and risk associated with technological development will be included with performance analysis, and advanced design methods such as Monte Carlo simulation and Design of Experiments will be utilized to search for performance and cost-optimized portfolios of technologies to aid the JMR family of rotorcraft.
Quantitative Active Rotor Technology Assessment of Rotorcraft in Full Spectrum Operations
The helicopter rotor system encounters a wide range of aerodynamic and structural phenomenon, such as dynamic stall, compressibility effects, flutter, and vortex interaction. These conditions make the helicopter loud, and also cause the rotor system to transfer large amount of vibration into the helicopter, its crew, and cargo. Mitigation of these negatives, which are inherent to the rotor system, can be accomplished through advanced control technologies known as Active Rotor Technologies (ARTs). These technologies are capable of inputting control forces at frequencies greater than 1 per rev, which is known to help reduce vibrations, noise, power, or some combination thereof.
In order to better understand the value of these Active Rotor Technologies from a systems level, research is being performed into the operational and costs and benefits of ARTs. These include vehicle level impacts, such as part life, fatigue, and mission performance; operational impacts such as maintenance time, vehicle availability, replacement parts, and capability; and costs such as RDT&E, as well as operational costs. This is being accomplished through a mix of expert judgment, high fidelity modeling and simulation of rotor systems and parts, operational simulation, and vehicle performance modeling and design. These various techniques are merged together to understand the total impact of ARTs at every level of helicopter operations.
Key enablers of the methodology include design and analysis software capable of handling multiple concepts, a platform to integrate higher fidelity analyses, and software to analyze data and generate surrogate models. The framework being developed will be capable of producing data for different missions, concepts, and technology sets. In this way the developed methods and techniques will remain relevant to decision makers even as strategies, concepts, and missions change.
Publications and Reports
Dufresne, S., Johnson C., Mavris, D.N., “A Variable Fidelity Conceptual Design Environment for Revolutionary Unmanned Aerial Vehicles”, AIAA Journal of Aircraft, July 2008.