A pareto frontier intersection-based approach for efficient multiobjective optimization of competing concept alternatives
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The expected growth of civil aviation over the next twenty years places significant emphasis on revolutionary technology development aimed at mitigating the environmental impact of commercial aircraft. As the number of technology alternatives grows along with model complexity, current methods for Pareto finding and multiobjective optimization quickly become computationally infeasible. Coupled with the large uncertainty in the early stages of design, optimal designs are sought while avoiding the computational burden of excessive function calls when a single design change or technology assumption could alter the results. This motivates the need for a robust and efficient evaluation methodology for quantitative assessment of competing concepts. This research presents a novel approach that combines Bayesian adaptive sampling with surrogate-based optimization to efficiently place designs near Pareto frontier intersections of competing concepts. Efficiency is increased over sequential multiobjective optimization by focusing computational resources specifically on the location in the design space where optimality shifts between concepts. At the intersection of Pareto frontiers, the selection decisions are most sensitive to preferences place on the objectives, and small perturbations can lead to vastly different final designs. These concepts are incorporated into an evaluation methodology that ultimately reduces the number of failed cases, infeasible designs, and Pareto dominated solutions across all concepts. A set of algebraic samples along with a truss design problem are presented as canonical examples for the proposed approach. The methodology is applied to the design of ultra-high bypass ratio turbofans to guide NASA's technology development efforts for future aircraft. Geared-drive and variable geometry bypass nozzle concepts are explored as enablers for increased bypass ratio and potential alternatives over traditional configurations. The method is shown to improve sampling efficiency and provide clusters of feasible designs that motivate a shift towards revolutionary technologies that reduce fuel burn, emissions, and noise on future aircraft.