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DEFAINE Dissemination at the ICAS conference

As part of the DEFAINE project the members from GKN Aerospace and Chalmers travelled to Stockholm, Sweden, 4-9 September, 2022. They presented an approach for multidisciplinary set-based design of a Fan Outlet Guide Vane (FOGV) assembly for an electric engine.


Figure 1, The DEFAINE team who travelled to the conference


There is a need for more sustainable aviation solutions, and the aerospace industry is increasing its efforts towards alternative and more sustainable technologies such as battery powered electrical engines and different hydrogen variants.

Figure 2, Airplane with engines from H2 Gear, a parallel research project in collaboration.


The result presented is based on the first step of development in one of five use cases in the DEFAINE project. A Design space exploration process for an aircraft engine component is described and evaluated against KPI:s. The team presented development in the automation of the different steps of the Design Space Exploration process to reduce the time needed to update and run the process.  


Figure 3, describing Enginering WorBench, a Design Space Exploration Framework at GKN Aerospace Engines


By improving the Design Space Exploration process more innovative and cost efficient solutions are enabled as a larger design space is covered within a shorter time span compared to conventional/ traditional PD projects. The approach is demonstrated by the industrial use case at GKN that includes a scenario where requirements are represented as a set of ranges instead of discrete numbers. These set of ranges represents a requirement space where every unique instance of requirement can have a number of possible solutions as well as an “optimal” solution.

Figure 4, illustrating the set based approach for the use-cae.


The paper presented describe the use case together with metrics for evaluation against key performance indicators (KPI:s). The evaluation criteria is defined based on industrial need identified in the research project. A parametric model is developed that can automatically create different CAD configurations based on aero definitions generated by an in-house aero design tool.


Figure 5, illustrating the Computational domain in CFD  and different configurations as a result.


This increases the design space dimensionality and will enable broader multidisciplinary design space exploration studies. The developed methods and tools has reduced the generation of CAD geometry from 50 min to 10min for 10 models and reduced the time to mesh of these models also from 1 hours to 50min. However, the main reduction in this process lead-time is gained by excluding the repetitive and tedious work done by the engineer. In practice, the availability of an engineer that can prioritize this work is often limited, making the real lead-time far longer. Several more geometrical parameters are added that controls the rib stiffness, mounting dimension and together with hub and shroud thickness.

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