Development of a Framework for Concept Selection and Design Automation : Utilizing hybrid modeling for indirect parametric control of subdivision surfaces
Abstract: Saab Aeronautics’ section Overall Design and Survivability develops early aircraft concepts and utilizes Computer Aided Design (CAD) to ensure the feasibility of principal- and critical characteristics. Saab has over the years developed several start models of aircrafts in CAD from pre-defined aircraft configurations, which are to some extent non-generic. When new configurations are to be explored, manual- and repetitive work is required if the new configuration cannot be attained solely through parametric modifications of a start model. The complexity of these CAD models also demands great knowledge of how aircraft components interact with each other to ensure compatibility. The project covered in this thesis was thus carried out to develop a more effective way for Saab to create and explore a larger design space. This by creating a framework that consists of a product configurator coupled with a library of generic CAD models. The product configurator that was created is the Saab Tradespace Analyzer & Reconfigurator (STAR), which takes compatibility relationships into consideration to facilitate concept selection. The STAR also provides a dynamic design space calculation to indicate how close the user is to a final concept selection. Two generic CAD models were created, a fuselage model and an air inlet model. A skeleton model was also created in order to reduce model dependencies and to control the main geometry of the aircraft product. In addition to these, an already existing wing model was implemented to form the library of generic CAD models. The framework coupling the STAR with the CAD library utilizes design automation to allow automatic CAD model generation of a concept that has been selected within the STAR. It was concluded through extrapolation that the created framework would allow Saab to create and explore a larger design space in a more effective way than what is done today, provided the library of CAD models were to contain the same number of components as today’s start models.
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