Special Issue "Control and Optimization Problems in Aerospace Engineering"

A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Stefano Valvano
Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Kore University of Enna, 94100 Enna, Italy
Interests: computational mechanics; composites; acoustics; smart materials; thermal analysis; optimization; multiphysics analysis; viscoelasticity; structural dynamics
Dr. Andrea Ferrero
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy
Interests: computational fluid dynamics; rocket propulsion; airbreathing propulsion; turbomachinery; turbulence modelling; reduced order modelling; high-order numerical methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The present Special Issue entitled “Control and Optimization Problems in Aerospace Engineering” focuses on topics related to the use of mathematical control techniques to solve some typical problems of the aerospace industry. Historically, several mathematical techniques have been developed for this purpose. Among them, the geometric optimal control problem was developed on the basis of various concepts of differential geometry and it has been used for several aerospace applications. The method was employed, for example, for the study of the atmospheric re-entry of the space-shuttle.

Another approach related to this kind of problems is the homotopy method, which consists in the continuous simplification of a complex problem into a series of simpler parametrized ones. A typical application of this method is for the transfer orbit problem. 

The range of applications of these techniques in relation to control problems in the aerospace field is quite large: vibrations suppression, passive and active dynamic control, jet engine control, transmission control, combustion analysis and control, acoustic transmission, thermal efficiency, aeroelastic couplings, etc. Moreover, the optimization techniques play an important role in the design of several aircraft components, including genetic algorithms, topology optimizations, neural networks for surrogate models, heuristic procedures based on simplified social models, i.e., particle swarm optimization, to cite a few.

In addition, it is well known that all the technologies, materials, and theoretical approaches firstly developed in the aerospace sector could have relevance in other industrial sectors, such as the automotive, maritime, and, in general, transports sectors, and also in areas such as that of wind energy.

To set a thematic focus beyond the areas of application, we are specifically looking for contributions on:

- Structural mechanics control problems
- Propulsion systems control problems
- Flight mechanics control problems
- Space flight control problems
- Vibration suppression
- Passive control
- Active dynamic control
- Smart materials for control applications
- Thermal efficiency
- Acoustic transmission optimization
- Jet engine control
- Transmission control
- Combustion efficiency
- Aeroelastic coupling problem
- Re-entry orbit problem
- Transfer orbit problem

Moreover, the focal topics listed above are not meant to exclude articles from additional areas. Similarly, we do not intend to limit the Special Issue’s focus to control problems only but aim to also include studies on optimization relevant applications in the aerospace sector.

We are looking forward to receiving your submissions and kindly invite you to address any of the Guest Editors in case of further questions.

Dr. Stefano Valvano
Dr. Andrea Ferrero
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Aerospace is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
A Data-Driven Approach to Identify Flight Test Data Suitable to Design Angle of Attack Synthetic Sensor for Flight Control Systems
Aerospace 2020, 7(5), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7050063 - 23 May 2020
Abstract
Digital avionic solutions enable advanced flight control systems to be available also on smaller aircraft. One of the safety-critical segments is the air data system. Innovative architectures allow the use of synthetic sensors that can introduce significant technological and safety advances. The application [...] Read more.
Digital avionic solutions enable advanced flight control systems to be available also on smaller aircraft. One of the safety-critical segments is the air data system. Innovative architectures allow the use of synthetic sensors that can introduce significant technological and safety advances. The application to aerodynamic angles seems the most promising towards certified applications. In this area, the best procedures concerning the design of synthetic sensors are still an open question within the field. An example is given by the MIDAS project funded in the frame of Clean Sky 2. This paper proposes two data-driven methods that allow to improve performance over the entire flight envelope with particular attention to steady state flight conditions. The training set obtained is considerably undersized with consequent reduction of computational costs. These methods are validated with a real case and they will be used as part of the MIDAS life cycle. The first method, called Data-Driven Identification and Generation of Quasi-Steady States (DIGS), is based on the (i) identification of the lift curve of the aircraft; (ii) augmentation of the training set with artificial flight data points. DIGS’s main aim is to reduce the issue of unbalanced training set. The second method, called Similar Flight Test Data Pruning (SFDP), deals with data reduction based on the isolation of quasi-unique points. Results give an evidence of the validity of the methods for the MIDAS project that can be easily adopted for generic synthetic sensor design for flight control system applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control and Optimization Problems in Aerospace Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Control of a Supersonic Inlet in Off-Design Conditions with Plasma Actuators and Bleed
Aerospace 2020, 7(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7030032 - 19 Mar 2020
Abstract
Supersonic inlets are a key component of present and future air-breathing propulsion systems for high-speed flight. The inlet design is challenging because of several phenomena that must be taken under control: shock waves, boundary layer separation and unsteadiness. Furthermore, the intensity of these [...] Read more.
Supersonic inlets are a key component of present and future air-breathing propulsion systems for high-speed flight. The inlet design is challenging because of several phenomena that must be taken under control: shock waves, boundary layer separation and unsteadiness. Furthermore, the intensity of these phenomena is strongly influenced by the working conditions and so active control systems can be particularly useful in off-design conditions. In this work, a mixed compression supersonic inlet with a double wedge ramp is considered. The flow field was numerically investigated at different values of Mach number. The simulations show that large separations appear at the higher Mach numbers on both the upper and lower walls of the duct. In order to improve the performances of the inlet two different control strategies were investigated: plasma actuators and bleed. Different locations of the plasma actuator are considered in order to also apply this technology to configurations with a diverter which prevents boundary layer ingestion. The potential of the proposed solutions is investigated in terms of total pressure recovery, flow distortion and power consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control and Optimization Problems in Aerospace Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Optimization Provenance of Whiplash Compensation for Flexible Space Robotics
Aerospace 2019, 6(9), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6090093 - 30 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Automatic controls refer to the application of control theory to regulate systems or processes without human intervention, and the notion is often usefully applied to space applications. A key part of controlling flexible space robotics is the control-structures interaction of a light, flexible [...] Read more.
Automatic controls refer to the application of control theory to regulate systems or processes without human intervention, and the notion is often usefully applied to space applications. A key part of controlling flexible space robotics is the control-structures interaction of a light, flexible structure whose first resonant modes lie within the bandwidth of the controller. In this instance, the designed-control excites the problematic resonances of the highly flexible structure. This manuscript reveals a novel compensator capable of minimum-time performance of an in-plane maneuver with zero residual vibration (ZV) and zero residual vibration-derivative (ZVD) at the end of the maneuver. The novel compensator has a whiplash nature of first commanding maneuver states in the opposite direction of the desired end state. For a flexible spacecraft simulator (FSS) free-floating planar robotic arm, this paper will first derive the model of the flexible system in detail from first principles. Hamilton’s principle is augmented with the adjoint equation to produce the Euler–Lagrange equation which is manipulated to prove equivalence with Newton’s law. Extensive efforts are expended modeling the free–free vibration equations of the flexible system, and this extensive modeling yields an unexpected control profile—a whiplash compensator. Equations of motion are derived using both the Euler–Lagrange method and Newton’s law as validation. Variables are then scaled for efficient computation. Next, general purposed pseudospectral optimization software is used to seek an optimal control, proceeding afterwards to validate optimality via six theoretical optimization necessary conditions: (1) Hamiltonian minimization condition; (2) adjoint equations; (3) terminal transversality condition; (4) Hamiltonian final value condition; (5) Hamiltonian evolution equation; and lastly (6) Bellman’s principle. The results are novel and unique in that they initially command full control in the opposite direction from the desired end state, while no such results are seen using classical control methods including classical methods augmented with structural filters typically employed for controlling highly flexible multi-body systems. The manuscript also opens an interesting question of what to declare when the six optimality necessary conditions are not necessarily in agreement (we choose here not to declare finding the optimal control, instead calling it suboptimal). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control and Optimization Problems in Aerospace Engineering)
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