A CFD/CSD Interaction Methodology for Aircraft Wings


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Virginia Tech


With advanced subsonic transports and military aircraft operating in the transonic regime, it is becoming important to determine the effects of the coupling between aerodynamic loads and elastic forces. Since aeroelastic effects can contribute significantly to the design of these aircraft, there is a strong need in the aerospace industry to predict these aero-structure interactions computationally.

To perform static aeroelastic analysis in the transonic regime, high fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis tools must be used in conjunction with high fidelity computational structural dynamics (CSD)analysis tools due to the nonlinear behavior of the aerodynamics in the transonic regime. There is also a need to be able to use a wide variety of CFD and CSD tools to predict these aeroelastic effects in the transonic regime. Because source codes are not always available, it is necessary to couple the CFD and CSD codes without alteration of the source codes. In this study, an aeroelastic coupling procedure is developed which will perform static aeroelastic analysis using any CFD and CSD code with little code integration. The aeroelastic coupling procedure is demonstrated on an F/A-18 Stabilator using NASTD (an in-house McDonnell Douglas CFD code)and NASTRAN. In addition, the Aeroelastic Research Wing (ARW-2) is used for demonstration of the aeroelastic coupling procedure by using ENSAERO (NASA Ames Research Center CFD code) and a finite element wing-box code (developed as a part of this research). The results obtained from the present study are compared with those available from an experimental study conducted at NASA Langley Research Center and a study conducted at NASA Ames Research Center using ENSAERO and modal superposition. The results compare well with experimental data.

In addition, parallel computing power is used to investigate parallel static aeroelastic analysis because obtaining an aeroelastic solution using CFD/CSD methods is computationally intensive. A parallel finite element wing-box code is developed and coupled with an existing parallel Euler code to perform static aeroelastic analysis. A typical wing-body configuration is used to investigate the applicability of parallel computing to this analysis. Performance of the parallel aeroelastic analysis is shown to be poor; however with advances being made in the arena of parallel computing, there is definitely a need to continue research in this area.



CFD/CSD interaction, parallel computing, static aeroelasticity