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Home>News>2013>Air Force awards IAI a new contract for Multidisciplinary Design Optimization of Advanced Propulsion Systems (MDO-APS)

Air Force awards IAI a new contract for Multidisciplinary Design Optimization of Advanced Propulsion Systems (MDO-APS)

The US Air Force’s goal to reduce fuel consumption is driving the need for advanced aircraft and propulsion system requirements. For subsonic aircraft, increasing turbine bypass ratio lowers thrust-specific fuel consumption. The limiting case for high-bypass ratio is a turboprop, and for higher performance applications, it is the open-rotor propulsion system. Methods of propeller or open-rotor analysis are either very low-order or proprietary, and research engineers cannot make rational systems decisions without access to accurate, flexible and multi-disciplinary design methods. To address this, IAI will develop a “Multidisciplinary Design Optimization of Advanced Propulsion Systems (MDO-APS),” a novel framework for integrated conceptual and preliminary design of advanced propulsion concepts. The novel multi-point multidisciplinary design architecture is an enhancement of the Collaborative Optimization technique, enabling a degree of ‘loose coupling,’ while providing relative autonomy to disciplinary analyses. The architecture readily handles multi-design-point optimization, which is important in the multidisciplinary study of advanced propulsion systems, which focuses on aerodynamics, structure, acoustics and propulsion systems. MDO-APS uses Genetic Algorithms for system level optimization, allowing discrete design choices to be made at the system level. It leverages Variable Complexity Optimization within each discipline’s subspace to perform high-fidelity designs at moderate costs. MDO-APS can study propulsion system design in context of the airplane, along with the challenge of airframe integration. The modular architecture leverages IAI’s expertise in modeling, simulation, and agent-based systems, and allows any analysis code to be used for the different disciplines. This tool will be demonstrated for open-rotor design for military transports like the C-130 and C-17.The benefits of using open-rotor technology versus state of the art engines will also be studied, both in isolation as well as in context of the aircraft.

About IAI:
Intelligent Automation, Inc. (IAI) is a technology innovation company headquartered in Rockville, MD. We specialize in providing advanced technology solutions and R&D services to federal agencies, and corporations throughout the United States and internationally. Leveraging agile R&D processes, a multi-disciplinary collaborative environment, and its substantial intellectual property portfolio, IAI excels in developing concepts into market-focused products and customer-driven solutions. IAI’s core R&D areas include: Air Traffic Management, Big Data and Social Media Analytics, Control and Signal Processing, Cyber Security, Education and Training Technologies, Health Technologies, Modeling and Simulation, Networks and Communications, Robotics, and Sensor Systems. For more information on IAI, please visit

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