Black-Box Online Aerodynamic Performance Optimization for a Seamless Wing with Distributed Morphing

Optimized shapes.


Morphing is a promising bio-inspired technology, with the potential to make aircraft more economical and sustainable through adaptation of the wing shape for best efficiency at any flight condition. This paper proposes an online black-box performance optimization strategy for a seamless wing with distributed morphing control. Pursuing global performance, the presented method integrates a global radial basis function neural network (RBFNN) surrogate model with a derivative-free evolutionary optimization algorithm. The effectiveness of the optimization strategy was validated on a vortex lattice method (VLM) aerodynamic model of an over-actuated morphing wing augmented by wind tunnel experiment data. Simulations show that the proposed method is able to control the morphing shape and angle of attack to achieve various target lift coefficients with better aerodynamic efficiency than the unmorphed wing shape. The global nature of the on-board model allows the presented method to find shape solutions for a wide range of target lift coefficients without the need for additional model excitation maneuvers. Compared to the unmorphed shape, up to 14.6 percent of lift-to-drag ratio increase is achieved.

Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 2022