The aerospace engineering typically deals with multidisciplinary complex systems, and narrow margins of the design parameters make necessary the introduction of advanced optimization approaches in order to obtain overall optimal designs. In the present paper, Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) for the preliminary design of a unconventional aircraft concept, namely, the Over-the-Wing-Nacelle, is proposed. A complex MultiDisciplinary Analysis (MDA) framework has been implemented through modeFRONTIER™, in order to account for the interdisciplinary interaction and to provide self-consistent analyses. In details, several high- and middle-fidelity codes have been coupled for the structural and aeroelastic assessment (FEMWING, MSC.Nastran™), together with aerodynamic, mission and performance analyses (FLOPS™, Cart3D™).
The problem has been solved through explicit Multi-Objective Optimization (MOO), where the optimization criteria include minimum Empty Weight and minimum Fuel Weight, taking into account of structural, aeroelastic and mission constraints. Multi Objective Genetic Algorithm (MOGA II) has been used for evaluating the Pareto frontier. Statistical analysis and an interactive approach with the optimizer have been also proposed. The present work has been carried out at NASA Langley Research Center under the Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) Project.