« HOME
Queen's University Belfast Logo
Montage
Centre of Excellence of Integrated Aircraft Technology Logo
University Sites 
- CEIAT 
- RESEARCH ACTIVITY 
- Automated Design

-
Postgraduate Research
Menu Image
Automated Design
Menu Image
CRESENDO Framework 7
Menu Image
Impact Modelling in Complex Systems
Menu Image
Multi-Disciplinary Design Optimisation
Menu Image
Shape Sensitivity Analysis and Parametric CAD Models
Menu Image
SILOET Project
Menu Image
Sustainable Transport
Menu Image
Systems Engineering
Menu Image
Technology Infusion
Menu Image
Virtual Test Systems
Menu Image
Visual Analytics
Menu Image
Systems Integration and Cost Modelling
Menu Image
Digital Manufacturing
Menu Image
Generator Aeroacoustics
Menu Image
Aerospace Automation
Menu Image
Automated Design

Automated Design

Researchers

Prof. Mark Price

Prof. Srinivisan Raghunathan

Dr. Ricky Curran

Project Summary

As there has been no reason to change the current aircraft configurations there has also been no reason to change the design process despite the advances in technology.  There are now a lot of new social, legislative and environmental challenges now sit alongside very strict constraints and are difficult to overcome.

Integrating detailed design with conceptual design concepts to try and use the system level tools but bring them together with some of the lower level tools for designing and see how it can be used to open up different design spaces.  If you move from a high level and constrain it, it leaves a very constrained design space.  This project is therefore about trying to open up that design space.

The design process requires a new paradigm in which analysis and design synthesis is tightly integrated with systems engineering to facilitate the wider life-cycle issues.  Specifically the model building process is redefined to fit better with systems engineering with a strong emphasis on integrating through fidelities and across disciplines.

Integrated product teams and conceptual designers may argue that this is already done, however they don’t have any generic methods by which they can show how to do it.  This work aims to produce a set of generic methods that can be used by anyone in order to achieve a larger design space with fewer constraints.  This will hopefully speed up the design process for an object, giving more time for other processes such as testing and manufacturing.

The potential of a fully integrated system from design through to manufacturing and life-cycle costs is of major benefit to industry and widely applicable beyond the aerospace sector.  The major challenge is to provide this environment such that technical details can be accounted for appropriately, without overwhelming the high level design challenges and where the influence of data and parameters throughout and across systems is clearly understood.

Publications 

Paper: An Integrated Systems Engineering Approach to Aircraft Design 

M. Price, S. Raghunathan, R.Curran

Abstract

The challenge in Aerospace Engineering, in the next two decades as set by Vision 2020, is to meet the targets of reduction of nitric oxide emission by 80%, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide both by 50%, reduce noise by 50% and of course with reduced cost and improved safety.  All this must be achieved with expected increase in capacity and demand. Such a challenge has to be in a background where the understanding of physics of flight has changed very little over the years and where industrial growth is driven primarily by cost rather than new technology.

The way forward to meet the challenges is to introduce innovative technologies and develop an integrated, effective and efficient process for the life cycle design of aircraft, known as systems engineering (SE).  SE is a holistic approach to a product that comprises several components. Customer specifications, conceptual design, risk analysis, functional analysis and architecture, physical architecture, design analysis and synthesis, and trade studies and optimisation, manufacturing, testing validation and verification, delivery, life cycle cost and management.  Further, it involves interaction between traditional disciplines such as Aerodynamics, Structures and Flight Mechanics with people- and process-oriented disciplines such as Management, Manufacturing, and Technology Transfer.

SE has become the state-of-the-art methodology for organising and managing aerospace production.  However, like many well founded methodologies, it is more difficult to embody the core principles into formalised models and tools.  The key contribution of the paper will be to review this formalisation and to present the very latest knowledge and technology that facilitates SE theory.  Typically, research into SE provides a deeper understanding of the core principles and interactions, and helps one to appreciate the required technical architecture for fully exploiting it as a process, rather than a series of events.

There are major issues as regards to systems approach to aircraft design and these include lack of basic scientific/practical models and tools for interfacing and integrating the components of SE and within a given component, for example, life cycle cost, basic models for linking the key drivers.  The paper will review the current state of art in SE approach to aircraft design and identify some of the major challenges, the current state of the art and visions for the future.   The review moves from an initial basis in traditional engineering design processes to consideration of costs and manufacturing in this integrated environment.  Issues related to the implementation of integration in design at the detailed physics level are discussed in the case studies.