Extracting dimensional geometric parameters from B-spline surface models

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Virginia Tech


In an integrated design environment, the common thread between the different design stages is usually the geometric model of the part. However, the requirements for the geometric definition of the design is usually different for each stage. The transformation of data between these different stages is essential for the success of the integrated design environment. For example, conceptual design systems usually deal with geometric dimensional parameters (e.g. length, radius, etc.) whereas preliminary design systems frequently require the geometry definition to be in the form of surface models.

This dissertation presents the necessity and scope of creating and implementing methodologies to obtain dimensional geometric parameters from the surface description of an object. Since the study of geometric modeling and parametric surfaces is a new field, few classical methods are applicable. Methods and algorithms for the extraction of various geometry parameters are created. A few methods to pre-process and manipulate these surfaces before the parameter extraction methods can be applied are outlined.

One of the most important applications of parameter extraction is in the field of aircraft design. There are two important aspects of geometry data conversion in the design cycle. The first is the conversion from conceptual CAD models to CFD compatible models. The second is the conversion from surface representations of CFD models to obtain component parameters (e.g. wing span, fuselage fineness ratio, moments of inertia, etc.). The methods created in this dissertation are used to extract geometric parameters of importance in aircraft design. This enables the design cycle to be complete and promotes integrated design.

These methods have been implemented in the aircraft design software, ACSYNT. Examples of the conversion of data from B-spline surface models to dimensional geometric parameters using these methods are included.

The emphasis of this dissertation is on non-uniform B-spline surfaces. Methods for obtaining geometric parameters from aircraft models described by characteristic points are also considered briefly.