In the framework of Clean Sky2, Green Regional Aircraft - GRA - delivered low-weight aircraft using smart structures. With the aim of mitigating environmental impact through a substantial reduction of pollutant emissions and fuel consumption, a reliable numerical methodology was required to accurately optimise the weight. The design process implied using CFD and FEM structural models. Then the object of the Area-01 - Low weight configurations required, in particular, the development and validation of methodologies and software tools for the implementation of accurate transfer of loads between numerical models, to guarantee a safer design workflow that allows a reduction of uncertainties, gaining the goal of weight reduction. This problem posed a technological challenge especially for numerical models of complex aerospace structures where flow data exchange between non conformal CFD and FEM meshes, has to be performed on huge calculation models (several million cells).
The research project proposed an innovative approach for loads mapping based on Radial Basis Functions (RBF) theory and RIBES software implementation. A technology previously developed in the field of mesh morphing (RBF Morph™) capable to deal with large dataset (millions of points) was used to enable an accurate mapping. The meshless nature of the method facilitates all the complex tasks needed to properly exchange information between meshes. The effectiveness of the approach was demonstrated on an aeronautic wing structure by means of numerical and experimental checks and by a quantitative estimation of weight reduction obtained using the optimisation module included in the RIBES application.