Multi-level Modeling Methodology for Aircraft Thermal Architecture Design 2018-01-1910
This paper proposes a new methodology to conduct thermal analysis in the conceptual phase of the aircraft development process. Traditionally, thermal analysis is conducted after the system architecture has already been defined. The aircraft system thermal environment evaluation may lead to late design changes that can have a significant impact on the development process. To reduce the risk of late design changes, thermal requirements need to be defined and validated in the conceptual design phase. This research paper introduces a novel multi-level modeling strategy based on a bottom-up approach. It proposes an automatic geometrical simplification procedure for Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) analysis, a methodology for the generation of analytical correlations based on highly detailed methods, and a thermal risk assessment approach based on dimensionless numbers. This methodology generates models with the right level of fidelity to conceptual and preliminary design, offers the possibility to assess thermal risk, and defines thermal requirements for the selection of aircraft and systems architectures. A proof-of-concept of the methodology for a simplified test case is presented to highlight the benefits of such multi-level capability.