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High-Fidelity Design Optimisation and Control of Very Flexible Aerostructures

Date: Wed 29 Nov 2017, 14:00 - 15:00

Location: Seminar Room, SEMS

Abstract: We investigate computational methods for the design of aerostructures in which aerodynamic load control strategies allow for high compliance. This relies, first, on gradient-based optimization of the reference configuration in a large configuration space, and second, on a feedback control architecture for operation under external disturbances. Optimal designs are sought through high-fidelity fluid-structure interactions simulations with nonlinear structural response, which have been implemented in the open-source SU2 package ( ). An adjoint-based approach is used for computational efficiency with the coupled-system derivatives obtained through systematic used of algorithmic differentiation on the three field problem defined by fluid,structure and the deforming mesh. For control synthesis, reduced-order models of the coupled system dynamics are obtained using proper-orthogonal decomposition and are used to derive linear feedback controllers with disturbance preview. The application of this strategy to the design of actuated membrane wings at low Reynolds numbers, as a biologically-inspired solution for micro air vehicles, will be finally discussed.

Bio: Rafael Palacios is Reader in Aeronautics at Imperial College London, where he has been since 2007. He is Aeronautical Engineer from Universidad Politécnica, Madrid, and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, which he attended with a Fulbright Fellowship. Before his PhD he spent four years at Airbus’s Aeroelasticity Department in Madrid. His research is on computational methods in aeroservoelasticity and fluid-structure interactions, with applications to vibration control and aeroelastic design of large offshore wind turbines, and dynamics and control of very flexible air vehicles. His research has been funded by the UK Research Council, European Commission, AFOSR, and Airbus. He was awarded the best undergraduate student award in Spain, the AIAA Foundation Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Award for best PhD thesis in aerospace engineering in the US, and Imperial’s best supervisor award. He is member of the AIAA Structural Dynamics Technical Committee and of the editorial board of the Journal of Fluids and Structures and the Journal of Aircraft.

Updated by: Jun Chen