Aero-structural Optimization of a MALE Configuration in the AGILE MDO Framework

  • Reinhold MaierlEmail author
  • Alessandro Gastaldi
  • Jan-Niclas Walther
  • Aidan Jungo
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Applied and Computational Mechanics book series (LNACM, volume 92)


Aircraft, and in particular military aircraft, are complex systems and the demand for high-performance flying platforms is constantly growing both for civil and  military purposes.  The development of aircraft is inherently  multidisciplinary and the exploitation of the interaction between the disciplines driving the design opens the door for new (unconventional) aircraft designs, and consequently, for novel aircraft having increased performance. In modern aircraft development processes and procedures, it is crucial to enable the engineers accessing complex design spaces, especially in the conceptual design phase where key configuration decisions are made and frozen for later development phases. Pushing more MDO and numerical analysis capabilities into the early design phase will support the decision-making process through reliable physical information for very large design spaces which can hardly be grasped and explored by humans without the support of automated numerical analysis capabilities. Therefore, from the start of the aircraft development, process computer simulations play a major role in the prediction of the physical properties and behavior of the aircraft. Recent advances in computational performance and simulation capabilities provide sophisticated physics based models, which can deliver disciplinary analysis data in a time effective manner, even for unconventional configurations. However, a major challenge arises in aircraft design as the properties from different disciplines (aerodynamics, structures, stability and control, etc.) are in constant interaction with each other. This challenge is even greater when specialized competences are provided by several multidisciplinary teams distributed among different organizations. It is therefore important to connect not only the simulation models between organizations, but also the corresponding experts to combine all competences and accelerate the design process to find the best possible solution. A multi-disciplinary study of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), presented in this article, was performed by eight different partners all over Europe to show the advances during the Horizon 2020 project Aircraft 3rd Generation  MDO for Innovative Collaboration of Heterogeneous Teams of Experts (AGILE).



Aircraft 3rd Generation MDO for Innovative Collaboration of Heterogeneous Teams of Experts


Athena Vortex Lattice


Computational Fluid Dynamics


Common Parametric Aircraft Configuration Scheme


Comma Separated Value


German Aerospace Center


Design of Experiments


Fluid Structure Interaction


International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences


Medium Altitude Long Endurance


Multidisciplinary Design Optimization


Moving Least Squares


Maximum Take-Off Weight


Maximum Zero Fuel Weight


Radial Basis Function


Remote Component Environment


Specific Excess Power


Stanford University Unstructured


Thrust Specific Fuel Consumption


Unmanned Aerial Vehicle



The research presented in this paper has been performed in the framework of the AGILE project (Aircraft 3rd Generation MDO for Innovative Collaboration of Heterogeneous Teams of Experts) and has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme (H2020-MG-2014-2015) under grant agreement n\(^\circ \) 636202. The Swiss participation in the AGILE project was supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) under contract number 15.0162. The authors are grateful to the partners of the AGILE consortium for their contributions and feedback.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinhold Maierl
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alessandro Gastaldi
    • 1
  • Jan-Niclas Walther
    • 2
  • Aidan Jungo
    • 3
  1. 1.Airbus Defence and SpaceManchingGermany
  2. 2.German Aerospace CenterHamburgGermany
  3. 3.CFS Engineering, EPFL Innovation ParkLausanneSwitzerland

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