Commercial Engine Architecture Selection in the Presence of Uncertainty and Evolving Requirements
Roth, Bryce Alexander
Mavris, Dimitri N.
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The objective of this paper is to discuss a few challenges foreseeable for future aircraft engine designs and briefly survey ongoing research that addresses these challenges. Emphasis is placed on methods for selecting commercial engine architectures. Four fundamental needs are identified and discussed at length: uncertainty in the design process, strategic business decisions in the context of engine design, complexity of future propulsion systems, and integration of new technologies into next-generation products. Probabilistic techniques are suggested as an analytical means to quantify the impact of uncertainty and to allow for uncertainty-mitigating decisions in the design process. Advanced engineering models in conjunction with ideas from complexity theory and game theory are a possible means of addressing the larger strategic business decisions as they pertain to architecture selection. Thermodynamic work potential methods are proposed as a basis for dealing with increased complexity. Finally, the role of technology identification, evaluation, and selection methods in engine technology studies is discussed.