Successful completion of our Phase II effort results in an automated, robust, and rapid aircraft drag optimization method (called HeldenDesign) that is an integral part of our vision to revolutionize the aircraft analysis and design process. HeldenDesign couples NASA’s CDISC knowledge-based design method with an optimization wrapper that automatically varies the inputs to CDISC to enable drag-based optimization. In addition, HeldenDesign simplifies and streamlines the setup of new optimization cases and adds a robust mesh movement capability (through the HeldenMorph toolset that is also developed under our Phase II effort) that solves many of the problems encountered during CFD-based design. The goal of HeldenDesign is to enable rapid and easy to use drag-based optimizations of new aircraft for conceptual, preliminary, and detailed design. We plan to follow this effort with a Phase III effort that culminates with commercialization of the HeldenDesign product within 1.5 years of completion of this Phase II effort.
The successful completion of this Phase I effort supports all NASA programs and projects that use CFD for advanced aircraft concept design, launch vehicle design, and planetary entry vehicles. The technology developed under this project will enable design decisions by Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) and Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD).
Helden Aerospace has already successfully transitioned its existing HeldenMesh commercial grid generator to industry. The completion of this Phase II effort would further improve the CFD toolset through drag-based optimization with rapid knowledge-based design methods. This effort results in a product with strong commercial viability as there is a significant need for this capability in industry.