Improving the overall arrangement of materials offers the largest potential for saving structural weight in airframe design. Tools for topology optimisation support these early, important decisions by suggesting optimal material distributions. Existing commercial topology optimisation software does not allow the full potential of composite materials to be exploited in air-fame design.
This requires new tools and unconventional optimisation algorithms integrated with modelling studies and problem analysis,  which are all targeted at the specific requirements within aerospace structural design and  that enable multiple constraints as well as local constraints to be considered for real-world problem sizes. PLATO-N will provide a significantly improved basis for the operational integration of optimisation assistance as a standard procedure in the conceptual design process for the European aerospace industry.
The work-plan includes basic research on large-scale convex optimisation algorithms, convex approximations of non-convex constraints, free material optimisation with multidisciplinary constraints (stress, displacements, buckling, etc.). PLATO-N will be validated against real case studies and will be implemented as a suite of software, integrated in a common environment, and its improvement in performance will be benchmarked against state-of-the art commercial products.
Major deliverables are:
1. a generic software platform for topology optimisation, PLATO
2. a sample case library PLATOlib, a public benchmarking library for the topology optimisation community,
3. a software system PLATO-N, integrating implementations of algorithms and methods developed in the project,
4. technical reports and evaluations on mathematical methods and algorithms, which greatly improve efficiency and scope of topology optimisation.
The PLATO-N software will be used by the industrial partners and commercialisation is a short term objective.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project