Design optimization of stiffened storage tank for spacecraft
Stiffened storage tank is an important structural component in spacecraft. Its structural weight is one of the key criterions in the design phase. This paper focuses on the design optimization of the structure by using finite element method, structural sensitivity analysis techniques, and sequential linear/quadratic programming aimed to reduce the structural weight. Design variables include the numbers of stiffeners, stiffeners’ section dimensions, and shell thickness distribution. Detailed finite element modeling processes are presented, which are the ways to construct the stiffener (beam orientation and offset) and shell elements and the ways to determine the analysis model and structural boundary conditions. A brief introduction to sensitivity analysis and optimization solution algorithm is also given. Main attention is paid to the studies of design optimization of the tank structure, including the selection of design cases, evaluation, and comparison of the optimal results. There are six design cases considered in the design procedures. Numerical results show that by using the above computational techniques, the structural weight is effectively reduced. In this work, MSC.Patran/Nastran is employed to construct the Finite Element Model (FEM), and JIFEX, which is developed in our group, is used to conduct the structural design optimization.
KeywordsStiffened shells Structural sensitivity analysis Structural design optimization
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