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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P01271X/1
Title: Stochastic nonlinear aeroelastic models subject to unsteady loads
Principal Investigator: Haddad Khodaparast, Dr H H
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Airbus Group Limited
Department: College of Engineering
Organisation: Swansea University
Scheme: First Grant - Revised 2009
Starts: 01 April 2017 Ends: 31 March 2019 Value (£): 100,914
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Aerodynamics Design & Testing Technology
Eng. Dynamics & Tribology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
01 Dec 2016 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 1 and 2 December 2016 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The accurate and efficient estimation of aircraft loads is an important problem in the aerospace industry. The extreme values of these loads are typically the key parameters used for sizing the aircraft's structure and, therefore, have a significant influence on the performance of an aircraft. Inaccurate estimations of these loads will lead to poor design choices, most typically a conservative structure design that is overweight, increasing energy consumption, toxic emissions, and noise pollution.

This research will develop tools for the efficient identification of uncertainties and nonlinearities in aircraft structural components and investigate how they affect aircraft loads. Only nonlinearities and uncertainties in the joints will be considered in this project, but the developed framework can be used for other sources of nonlinearities and uncertainties, such as aerodynamics and flight control systems. Developing such a framework is crucial in order to overcome the predominant practice whereby aircraft designs are restricted to a deterministic and linear regime, despite rapidly increasing demands to consider unavoidable uncertainties and nonlinearities from technological, economic and safety considerations.

In this project, a detailed and sophisticated numerical model of an aircraft structure will be used to explicitly identify the possible range of variations in the dynamic response due to geometric and material uncertainties and nonlinearities of a wing-store joint. These data will then be used to identify the parameters of reduced-order models (ROMs). ROMs are extremely useful for computational efficiency, and are used to efficiently predict extreme unsteady loads. The validated reduced-order structural model will be incorporated into the aeroelastic model and will allow the designer to include the effects of nonlinearities and uncertainties in the process of load calculations. The goal is to move away from the conventional safety-factor-based approach and explore the wide horizon of stochastic nonlinear aeroelastic analysis.

This project will be carried out in partnership with Airbus, which will provide the data necessary to undertake the research. Since it has been observed that multiple sources of nonlinearities and uncertainties affect aircraft performance, the study aims to investigate the following questions: 1- How can detailed numerical models be used in the identification of sources of nonlinearities and uncertainties? 2- How can the structural model updating tools (the tools that will be used to validate the numerical model based on experimental data or detailed finite element predictions) be used to obtain ROMs that are capable of including the nonlinear and uncertain effects estimated by detailed numerical models? 3- How can these validated ROMs be used to efficiently investigate the effects of uncertainties and nonlinearities in aircraft load predictions (important parameters that have significant impact on aircraft performance)?

The aforementioned questions will be answered by considering an important source of nonlinearities and uncertainties in the aircraft structure, i.e. structural joints.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.swan.ac.uk