Optimization problems concerning complex structures with many design variables may entail an unacceptable computational cost. This problem can be reduced considerably with a multilevel approach: A structure consisting of several components is optimized as a whole (global) as well as on the component level. In this paper, an optimization method is discussed with applications in the assessment of the impact of new design considerations in the development of a structure. A strategy based on fully stressed design is applied for optimization problems in linear statics. A global model is used to calculate the interactions (e.g., loads) for each of the components. These components are then optimized using the prescribed interactions, followed by a new global calculation to update the interactions. Mixed discrete and continuous design variables as well as different design configurations are possible. An application of this strategy is presented in the form of the full optimization of a vertical tail plane center box of a generic large passenger aircraft. In linear dynamics, the parametrization of the component interactions is problematic due to the frequency dependence. Hence, a modified method is presented in which the speed of component mode synthesis is used to avoid this parametrization. This method is applied to a simple test case that originates from noise control.
- Multilevel optimization - Neural networks - Genetic algorithms - Component mode synthesis