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Open AccessArticle

Bionic Stiffener Layout Optimization with a Flexible Plate in Solar-Powered UAV Surface Structure Design

1
School of Aeronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an 710072, China
2
Science and Technology on UAV Laboratory, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an 710065, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(23), 5196; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9235196
Received: 10 October 2019 / Revised: 23 November 2019 / Accepted: 25 November 2019 / Published: 29 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft Computing Techniques in Structural Engineering and Materials)
A cellular-based evolutionary topology optimization scheme over a small curvature big contour wing surface is proposed for the design of an ultralight surface structure. Using this method, a ground-structure technique is first applied to obtain homogeneous mesh generation with a predefined weight value over the design domain. Secondly, the stiffener path’s description is guided by a modified map L system topology method that simulates the growth of the bionic branch, and the structural components are obtained by the specified searching method according to weights of the previous mesh vertexes. Thirdly, an optimal curved stiffener layout is achieved using an agent-based algorithm to create individual instances of designs based on a small number of input parameters. These parameters can then be controlled by a genetic algorithm to optimize the final design according to goals like minimizing weight and structural weakness. A comparison is implemented for long-span panel stiffener layout generation between an initial straight case and a bionic optimal case via our method, thereby indicating the significant improvement of the buckling loads by steering the stiffener’s path. Finally, this bionic method is applied to the wing box structure design and achieves remarkable weight loss at last. View Full-Text
Keywords: stiffener layout; bio-inspired generative design; ground structure method; computational geometry stiffener layout; bio-inspired generative design; ground structure method; computational geometry
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ding, Y.; Zhou, Z.; Wang, Z.; Liu, H.; Wang, K. Bionic Stiffener Layout Optimization with a Flexible Plate in Solar-Powered UAV Surface Structure Design. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 5196.

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