unsteady adjoint, discrete adjoint, aeroelastic optimization, coupling, MDO, MDAO


Multidisciplinary design optimization offers a comprehensive approach for designing complex aerostructural systems such as wind turbines. Gradient-based multidisciplinary design optimization can be used to optimize complex systems using large numbers of design variables. However, the convergence of gradient-based optimization methods to an optimal solution is highly dependent on the accuracy of the provided derivatives. In this paper, we propose a general method for creating unsteady coupled systems for steady-state, eigenvalue, and time-domain analyses. We then describe how highly accurate derivatives may be obtained from these analyses using a combination of automatic differentiation and analytic methods (including the unsteady adjoint). Finally, we use our coupling method to assemble and test several aerostructural models relevant for wind turbine design.

Original Publication Citation

McDonnell, T., Cardoza, A., Caprace, D.G., and Ning, A., “A General Coupling Methodology for Unsteady Aerostructural Optimization with Analytic Derivatives,” AIAA SCITECH 2022 Forum, San Diego, CA, Jan. 2022. doi:10.2514/6.2022-1291

Document Type

Conference Paper

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Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor