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Insight into High-quality Aerodynamic Design Spaces through Multi-objective Optimization

T. Kipouros1, D.M. Jaeggi2, W.N. Dawes3, G.T. Parks2,A.M. Savill1, P.J. Clarkson2

Computational Aerodynamics Design, School of Engineering, Cranfield University, UK.
Engineering Design Centre, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, UK.
Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, UK.

Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences 2008, 37(1), 1-44.


An approach to support the computational aerodynamic design process is presented and demonstrated through the application of a novel multi-objective variant of the Tabu Search optimization algorithm for continuous problems to the aerodynamic design optimization of turbomachinery blades. The aim is to improve the performance of a specific stage and ultimately of the whole engine. The integrated system developed for this purpose is described. This combines the optimizer with an existing geometry parameterization scheme and a well-established CFD package. The system's performance is illustrated through case studies -- one two-dimensional, one three-dimensional -- in which flow characteristics important to the overall performance of turbomachinery blades are optimized. By showing the designer the trade-off surfaces between the competing objectives, this approach provides considerable insight into the design space under consideration and presents the designer with a range of different Pareto-optimal designs for further consideration. Special emphasis is given to the dimensionality in objective function space of the optimization problem, which seeks designs that perform well for a range of flow performance metrics. The resulting compressor blades achieve their high performance by exploiting complicated physical mechanisms successfully identified through the design process. The system can readily be run on parallel computers, substantially reducing wall-clock run times -- a significant benefit when tackling computationally demanding design problems. Overall optimal performance is offered by compromise designs on the Pareto trade- off surface revealed through a true multi-objective design optimization test case. Bearing in mind the continuing rapid advances in computing power and the benefits discussed, this approach brings the adoption of such techniques in real-world engineering design practice a step closer.


Cite This Article

Kipouros, T., Jaeggi, D., Dawes, W., Parks, G., Savill, A. et al. (2008). Insight into High-quality Aerodynamic Design Spaces through Multi-objective Optimization. CMES-Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, 37(1), 1–44.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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