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Aerospace Science and Technology 10 (2006) 364373

www.elsevier.com/locate/aescte
A new procedure for aerodynamic missile designs using topological
optimization approach of continuum structures
Zhen Luo
a,
, Jingzhou Yang
b
, Liping Chen
c
a
Department of Automation & Computer-Aided Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong
b
Center for Computer-Aided Design, The University of Iowa, 111 Engineering Research Facility, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
c
School of Mechanical Science & Engineering, Huazhong University of Science & Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, 430074, China
Received 20 June 2005; received in revised form 21 November 2005; accepted 20 December 2005
Available online 6 February 2006
Abstract
This paper presents a multi-objective programming scheme for the conceptual design of aerodynamic missiles structure using topological
optimization approaches, in which both the compliance and eigenfrequency are regarded as static and dynamic optimization objectives, respec-
tively. During the conceptual design of the aerodynamic missile with multiple loadings, both the multilevel sequential programming approach
and the compromising programming method are coupled together to settle the associated difculties when the whole structure of the missile
body is considered as a pre-dened design domain. The compromise programming method is rst applied to describe the statically loaded multi-
stiffness topology optimization, and the dynamic formulation is used to establish the subsequent optimization problem mainly concerned with
free vibration. The main advantage of the proposed scheme is the exibility of dealing with optimal topology designs for the whole structures
of aerodynamic missiles with complicated loading cases. Solid isotropic material with penalization (SIMP) is used as the interpolation scheme
to indicate the dependence of material modulus upon regularized element densities. The sequential convex programming approach is applied to
solve the optimization problem. An engineering application is used to demonstrate the characteristics of the presented methodologies based on
the commercial software package of Hyperworks.OptiStruct at Altair.
2006 Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Structural topology optimization; Aerodynamic missiles; Multi-objective; Multilevel sequence programming; Compromise programming;
Mathematical programming
1. Introduction
Presently, topology optimization techniques for continuum
structures [2] are mainly concentrating on single objective op-
timization problems, such as minimizing mean compliance or
maximizing the fundamental eigenvalue. However, in practical
engineering elds, there exist lots of multi-objective topology
optimization problems. A structure subjecting to static and dy-
namic loading cases might be a typical multi-objective topol-
ogy optimization problem, where minimizing compliance and
maximizing fundamental eigenvalue are usually regarded as
the static and dynamic objectives, respectively [1315,21]. Up
*
Corresponding author. Tel.: +852 2609 8041; fax: +852 2603 6002.
E-mail addresses: luozhen_me@yahoo.com.cn (Z. Luo),
jyang@engineering.uiowa.edu (J. Yang).
to now, many methodologies have been developed for solving
multi-objective programming problems [16]. Concerning the
multi-objective optimization problems, it is rarely that all the
single objectives can be optimized simultaneously and a unique
optimal solution generally cannot be expected. It is therefore in-
volved the process of making trade-off decisions to obtain a set
of the compromise solutions. The concept of Pareto solution is
commonly used in characterizing the compromise solution of a
multi-objective optimization problem. The denition of Pareto
set states that the vector is chosen as optimal if no criterion can
be improved without worsening at least one other criterion.
In this work, we are mainly limited our topic upon the
methodologies for multi-objective topology optimization of
aerodynamic missiles. Concerning an aerodynamic missile, the
missile body might be the most important structure and the
loading cases for the whole missile body are very complicated,
1270-9638/$ see front matter 2006 Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.ast.2005.12.006
Z. Luo et al. / Aerospace Science and Technology 10 (2006) 364373 365
Fig. 1. Topology, sizing and shape optimization for A380 droop nose ribs (http://www.altair.com.cn).
in which the static and dynamic loads should be two kinds of
regular loading cases. Currently, most optimization approaches
for aircraft designs are mostly concerning on the size or shape
optimization, and topological optimization methods are rela-
tively rarely adopted. Although some researchers applied topol-
ogy optimization techniques to the design of aircrafts, such as
the designs for aeroelastic wing, A380 leading edges ribs and
aircraft wing box ribs [9,17,18], they are mainly limited on de-
sign of components with the single objective such as static or
dynamic. To our knowledge, the research works concentrating
on topology optimization of aerodynamic missiles regarding
the whole structural body of the missile as the design domain
is very scarce. However, topology optimization for the whole
structure of the missile body during the process of conceptual
design must be benecial to improve the global performance of
the aerodynamic missiles.
Minimizing the strain energy for continuum topological op-
timization is not very capable of dealing with local stress and
buckling. The general way is therefore to fully investigate an in-
tegrated structural topology optimization approach by combin-
ing topology with sizing and shape optimization, where topol-
ogy optimization is used for optimal design concepts, and the
sizing and shape optimization can be used for detailed and fun-
damental designs such as stress, fatigue and bucking (Fig. 1).
However, the purpose of this paper is mainly limited upon the
rst part of this integrated procedure. The goal of this study
is to explore a suitable multi-objective programming procedure
for handing topology optimization problem which is subject to
multiple loading cases. The aim of topology optimization for
aerodynamic missiles is to assist the designer to determine the
most efcient way of an optimal material distribution in the
predened design space with a prescribed amount of material
usage. It is necessary to employ the method of structural topol-
ogy optimization to improve the performances of aerodynamic
missiles by means of the static and dynamic multi-objective ap-
proach.
The rest of this paper is arranged as follows. Section 2 de-
scribes multi-stiffness topological optimization, Section 3 dis-
cusses the topology optimization of free vibrating structures,
Section 4 discusses the multi-objective topological optimiza-
tion with static and dynamic objectives, Section 5 shows the nu-
merical procedure and Section 6 illustrates one typical example
of certain aerodynamic missile and nally gives the conclusion.
2. Topology optimization for statically loaded
aerodynamic missiles
Topological optimization problem of maximizing structural
stiffness is a process of purchasing stiffness distributing forms
in the design space. The maximum stiffness topology designs
subject to multiple loading cases are generally stated as multi-
ple stiffness problems [13]. The different optimal stiffness for
structures with multiple static load cases is called multiple-
stiffness where each independent loading case relates to an
optimal stiffness distributing topology. The multiple loading
cases exerted upon the structure simultaneously will result in
different optimal stiffness in the same design domain. Gen-
erally, the optimal topologies corresponding to different load-
ing cases are usually dissimilar in the same design space and
only an efcient solution can be approached. Considering the
present unsatisfactory situation for multi-stiffness problems [1],
the topology optimization subject to several independent sets of
366 Z. Luo et al. / Aerospace Science and Technology 10 (2006) 364373
loads in this paper is posed as a multi-objective problem. When
we consider more complicated cases, such as aerodynamic mis-
sile with many different static loading cases, to obtain a single
optimum for this multi-stiffness optimization problem needs a
multi-decision making process at the top level.
Among available approaches the weighting method is the
easiest one to be implemented and the OptiStruct package
uses this approach by minimizing a linear combination of all
single criteria subject to non-negative weighting factors. The
set of Pareto optimum solutions can be obtained by varying
the weights. However, for non-convex optimization problems,
this method cannot ensure nding all Pareto optimal solutions.
Therefore, it is difcult to capture the whole Pareto character-
istics when Pareto points are linearly distributed. In addition, it
cannot appropriately approximate the real Pareto optimal curve,
because a uniform variation of the weighting factors often re-
sults in an uneven distribution of the Pareto optimum solutions.
It is not easy to balance objectives only by varying weights
when loading scales are greatly different. The optimal stiffness
distributing paths corresponding to small loading cases might
be smeared out gradually during iteration process, and the con-
tribution of small loading cases to the optimal solution cannot
be embodied properly. This situation will result in an ill-posed
loading condition like the ill-posed stiffness matrix. The ef-
fective optimum solution will be easily controlled by optimal
results corresponding to larger loading cases.
To overcome the advantages of the mentioned approach, the
compromise programming scheme [6,28] was proposed as the
solution strategy. Compromise programming actually identies
the optimal solution that has the shortest distance to the ideal
point where conicting objectives reach their corresponding
minimum values but all the criteria cannot be satised at the
same time. The ideal point is not obtainable practically but can
be used as a base point. Concerning convex or non-convex op-
timization problem, the desired set of whole Pareto optimum
solutions can be obtained by varying the corresponding weight-
ing factors. The feasible point with the shortest distance to the
ideal point is recognized as the optimum solution in the com-
promise programming.
The objective of compromise programming approach is de-
scribed as following:
C(X) =
_
m

k=1
w
q
k
_
C
k
(X) C
min
k
C
max
k
C
min
k
_
q
_1
q
=
_
w
q
1
_
C
1
(X) C
min
1
C
max
1
C
min
1
_
q
+
+w
q
m
_
C
m
(X) C
min
m
C
max
m
C
min
m
_
q
_1
q
, (1)
where C
k
(X) is the objective related to the kth loading case.
C
min
k
and C
max
k
separately indicate the best and the worst ob-
tainable compliance solutions of the kth single objectives. In
other words, C
min
k
and C
max
k
are the minimum value and maxi-
mum value of C
k
(X) in the feasible region. Concerning the kth
stiffness topology optimization, C
min
k
= C
min
k
(X

k
) is the min-
imum compliance and X

k
is the design variable vector for the
minimumcompliance. Similarly, C
max
k
=C
max
k
(X

k
) is the max-
imum compliance which if obtained by using the design vari-
able vector X

k
. The weights satisfy w
k
0. q is a penalty ex-
ponent and q 2, which is used to indirectly control the shares
of single objectives involved in the compromise programming
formulation. According to Goicoechia et al. [8] if q = 1, all
distances from the ideal point are equally weighted and the op-
timization problem simply indicates the traditional weighting
method. The compromise solution can be obtained by solving a
linear programming problem. If q , the maximum diver-
gence between individual discrepancies is minimized, and the
optimization problem will be evolved to a min-max problem.
The compromise solution is obtained by solving this min-max
problem. For other cases rather than q = 1 and q , non-
linear mathematical programming algorithms are commonly
needed to obtain compromise solutions. For example, if q = 2,
each deviation is weighted in proportion to its magnitude, and
the larger value of the objective function in the parentheses will
carry the greater share. In this work q = 2 is suggested to shape
the Eq. (1) in the form of square root.
Then the mathematical formulation of the optimization prob-
lem is dened as

Minimize
X=(x
1
,x
2
,...,x
n
)
T
: C(X) =
_
m
k=1
w
q
k
_
C
k
(X)C
min
k
C
max
k
C
min
k
_
q
_ 1
q
Subject to:

m
k=1
_
n
j=1
V
j
x
k
j
_


V 0,
0 <x
min
x
j
<1,
j = 1, 2, . . . , n; k = 1, 2, . . . , m,
Equilibrium equations,
(2)
where x is the design variables, m is the number of loading
cases, and n is the number of nite elements, The minimum
density x
min
= 0.0001 is generally introduced to avoid singu-
larity of stiff matrix during the approximations of nite element
subroutines, w is the weighting efcient, and

V denotes the
amount of material allowable in the design space. The sensi-
tivity analysis of the single objective function is dened by
The computational model for single objectives can be writ-
ten as:

Minimize
X=(x
1
,x
2
,...,x
n
)
T
: C(X) = {U}
T
[K]{U}
Subject to:

E(x) =E
min
+x
p
j
(E
0
E
min
),

n
j=1
V
j
x
j


V 0, j = 1, 2, . . . , n,
0 <x
min
x
j
<1, j = 1, 2, . . . , n,
Equilibrium equation.
(3)
With regard to the SIMP interpolation scheme, the stiffness
matrix, objective function and the sensitivity with respect to de-
sign variables are given as follows
[K] =
n

j=1
_
E
min
+x
p
j
E
_
[K
j
], (4)
C(x) =
n

j=1
_
E
min
+x
p
j
E
_
{U
j
}
T
[K
j
]{U
j
}, (5)
C

(x) =
n

j=1
px
p1
j
{U
j
}
T
[K
j
]{U
j
}E, (6)
Z. Luo et al. / Aerospace Science and Technology 10 (2006) 364373 367
where E = E
0
E
min
; E
0
and E
min
are material modulus;
for numerical stability we choose E
min
= E
0
/1000; [K] and
{U} represent the global stiffness matrix and displacement, re-
spectively; [K
j
] is the element stiffness matrix; and {U
j
} is the
element displacement vector. Here the exponent p of SIMP is
exactly used to penalize the intermediate densities when p sat-
ises the condition p 2, and the details of SIMP is given in
Section 5.1.
3. Dynamic topological optimization of aerodynamic
missiles
Dynamic topology optimization of continuum structures
plays a very important role in the structural optimization. For
dynamic topology optimization of aerodynamic missiles, free
vibration problems under real working conditions might be the
most typical issues. Therefore, the sympathetic vibration would
be usually occurred when the forced frequencies are concerted
with the inherent frequencies of the structure itself. This unde-
sirable phenomenon will accelerate or cause serious damages
to the real structure. The main purpose of this section is to
explore the means to prevent the potential sympathetic vibra-
tion by increasing the dynamic response ability of the aero-
dynamic missiles by using topology optimization. Maute and
Reich [18], Krog and Tuck [9], Kosaka and Swan [12], Ped-
erson [19] and Luo et al. [14] investigated dynamic topology
optimization problems. However, dynamic topology optimiza-
tion considering the whole body of the aerodynamic missile as
the design domain has not been studied to improve the struc-
tural global performance.
Considering the optimization problem where the objective is
to maximize the kth lowest eigenfrequency of the structure sub-
ject to a given volume constraint, when we maximize the kth
eigenfrequency, the other eigenfrequencies may fall down to
the lower values, and the eigenfrequencies might switch their
orders frequently during the optimization process. Therefore,
the oscillation of the objective function might occur. This oscil-
lation will result in the non-differentiable objective and the non-
smoothness sensitivity of the objective function (eigenvalues).
This may result in a worse divergence of the optimization prob-
lem. In order to overcome this problem the mean-frequency
formulation has been suggested to smooth out the objective
[15].
The mathematical model is described as

Maximize
X={x
1
,x
2
,...,x
n
}
T
: (X) =
_
N

k=1
(w)
k
_
m
k=1
w
k
/
k
_
,
k = 1, 2, . . . , N

,
Subject to:

E =x
p
j
(E
0
E
min
), j = 1, 2, . . . , n,

n
j=1
V
j
x
j


V 0, j = 1, 2, . . . , n,
0 <x
min
x
j
<1, j = 1, 2, . . . , n,
([K]
i
[M]){
i
} = {0},
(7)
where N

is the eigenvalues. Generally it is not necessary to


calculate eigenvalues for all degree of freedom.
The sensitivities of mean eigenvalue with respect to design
variables are given:

x
j
=
_

2
_
m

i=1
w
k
_
w
k

2
i
_

k
x
j
_
. (8)
The equilibrium equations and sensitivities of ith eigenvalue
are dened by

i
x
j
= {
i
}
T
_
[K]
x
j

i
[M]
x
j
_
{
i
}, (9)
where
[K] =
n

j=1
_
E
min
+x
p
j
E
_
[K
j
], (10)
[M] =
n

j=1
_
E
min
+x
1
j
E
_
[M
j
], (11)
where [K] and [M] are the system stiffness and mass matrices
respectively;
i
is the ith eigenvalue of the structure; {
i
} is the
ith orthonormal eigenvector.
Topology optimization problem for eigenvalues will involve
a multi-model eigenvalue (repeated eigenvalues) solution, and
the mean eigenvalue formulation as Eq. (7) cannot prevent re-
peated eigenvalues. Repeated eigenvalues generally are not dif-
ferentiable with respect to the design variables. This will affect
the stability of optimization process. The sensitivity analysis for
repeated eigenvalue problems is complex and it is actually out
of the scope of this paper, and the details can be obtained in the
work of Seyranian et al. [22] and Krog and Olhoff [13].
4. Multi-objective topological optimization of aerodynamic
missiles
Sections 2 and 3 have described multi-stiffness and mean
eigenvalue topological optimizations. In this section we will
discuss the multi-objective topology optimization with static
and dynamic objectives by using tolerance multilevel sequence
approach. The general procedure for the multilevel sequence
approach is rst to divide all objectives into r groups according
to their priority in optimal solution. The rst group has p
1
ob-
jectives, the second group has p
2
objectives, and so on. Finally,
the rth group has p
r
objectives. Also they satisfy the following
equation: p
1
+p
2
+ +p
r
= k. The order of priority levels
p
1
>p
2
> >p
r
are sorted according to their importance in
Pareto solution. p
1
has the highest priority level and the objec-
tive in group one should be satised rst and next the p
2
and so
on.
With multilevel sequence algorithm, if the optimal solu-
tion of the lth level is unique, then the subsequent levels,
(l + 1), (l + 2), (l + 3), . . . , k, are not necessarily to be solved
continuously. The reason is that levels from 1 to l will decide
the Pareto solution and the contributions of latter levels will
be ignored. Thus the optimization process will stop and the
whole solving procedure will be discontinuous. To avoid this
discontinuity, tolerance parameters

i
>0 (i = 1, 2, . . . , k 1)
have introduced into the multilevel sequence algorithm. The
368 Z. Luo et al. / Aerospace Science and Technology 10 (2006) 364373
so-called tolerance multilevel sequence approach will be for-
mulated. By this way, we relax the optimal solution of each
level according to the prescribed tolerance parameters. There-
fore, the searching area for optimal point will be extended with
respect to subsequent sub-optimization problems. Regarding to
the sub-problem on certain level, it is more preferable to limit
the previous optimal solution within a neighboring scope rather
than restrict the previous level strictly to meet its optimal so-
lution. Resultantly, the discontinuity of optimization process
might be prevented, and it is possible to obtain whole Pareto
set.
In this paper the tolerance multilevel sequence algorithm is
employed as a multi-objective programming scheme for solv-
ing multi-objective topology optimization of the aerodynamic
missile. The free vibrating problem is solved in the rst level,
and then the multi-stiffness optimization problem is considered
in the second level where the relaxed optimal result of rst level
is posed as an external constraint.
(1) The formulation of the rst level for mean eigenvalue is
dened as:

Maximize
X={x
1
,x
2
,...,x
n
}
T
:
Subject to:

[]
i

i
, i = 1, 2, . . . , N

n
j=1
V
j
x
j


V 0, j = 1, 2, . . . , n,
0 <x
min
x
j
<1, j = 1, 2, . . . , n,
([K]
i
[M]){
i
} = {0},
(12)
where = 0.95; is an articial variable. This formulation can
ensure that the second eigenvalue is larger than the rst one by
some percent, and the third one is larger than the second one
by some percent, and so on. Pederson [19] employed a simi-
lar formulation to eigenvalue topology optimization. The given
computational formulation can prevent the repeated eigenval-
ues as well as the oscillation of the objectives.
After the optimal solution

of the rst level is obtained, it


will be introduced into the second level as an extra constraint.
The formulation of multi-stiffness problem in the second
level is dened as

Minimize
X=(x
1
,x
2
,...,x
n
)
T
: C(X) =
_
m
k=1
w
q
k
_
C
k
(X)C
min
k
C
max
k
C
min
k
_
q
_ 1
q
,
Subject to:

h
1
k=1
_
n
j=1
V
j
x
k
j
_


V 0, j = 1, 2, . . . , n,
0 <x
min
x
j
<1, j = 1, 2, . . . , n,

, i = 1, 2, . . . , N

,
Equilibrium equations,
(13)
where

denotes the optimal solution derived from the rst


level with dynamic objective. ( > 0) is a small constant
coefcient and used as tolerance parameters. The second sub-
optimization problem has been discussed in Section 2. k refers
to the number of statically loaded multiple loading cases.
5. Numerical implementation
5.1. SIMP density-stiffness interpolation scheme
Continuum topology optimization is essentially the integer
programming problem with large scale of the 01 discrete de-
sign variables. However, the optimization problem with large
Fig. 2. SIMP interpolation scheme.
scale of discretized design variables is generally ill-posed and
difcult to solve directly using general mathematical program-
ming approaches. Therefore, the 01 integer optimization prob-
lem is usually relaxed by introducing continuum-type design
variables. Two typical approaches are homogenization-based
approaches [11] and variable density methods [2,3]. Com-
monly, the SIMP [3] and rational approximation of mater-
ial properties (RAMP) [25] are two commonly used density-
stiffness interpolation schemes in variable density methods.
SIMP has been adopted in OptiStruct 7.0 to indicate the de-
pendence between material properties and element normalized
densities. Bendse and Sigmund [3] had proved the existence
of the physical meaning of the SIMP model when some sim-
ple conditions are satised (such as penalty exponent p 3 for
Poissons ratio 1/3).
For p = 1, SIMP is actually a linear formulation and it does-
nt have any penalizing effect for intermediate materials. When
the penalizing exponent lying with 1 < p 2, the penalizing
effect is partially satisfactory. Therefore, regarding to SIMP,
the practical demands of SIMP is p >2. Theoretically, a more
preferable penalizing effect will be obtained when a larger value
of p is employed. But we should emphasize that the global
stiffness matrix for the FE subroutines will evolved to be singu-
lar when the value of the exponent p 6. Thus the reasonable
range of SIMP exponent for engineering application should be
within 3 p 5, and p = 3 is the typical used value. Then
the relaxed optimization problem can approximately approach
the original optimization problem with 01 design variables in
a weak form, and the effect of those stiffness matrixes, corre-
sponding to intermediate densities elements penalized by p,
upon global stiffness matrix can be reasonably ignored. The
penalizing effect of the exponent of SIMP upon intermediate
densities is illustrated as Fig. 2.
5.2. Mathematical programming method
Two classied approaches are typically used to solve topo-
logical optimization problems: Optimality criteria method
(OC) [11,29] and mathematical programming method. The OC
method has been successfully applied to structural topology op-
Z. Luo et al. / Aerospace Science and Technology 10 (2006) 364373 369
timizations, and it is efcient for solving problems with large
number of design variables and a few constraints. However,
it is inconvenient with multiple constraints. In addition, it is
difcult to construct the explicitly expressed heuristic updat-
ing schemes for non-convex and complicated objectives. The
mathematical programming method is usually more exible
and theoretically well founded to deal with advanced topology
optimization design with complicated objectives and multiple
constraints. In mathematical programming method, sequential
convex programming approaches such as sequential linear pro-
gramming (SLP), sequential quadratic programming (SQP),
and the method of moving asymptotes (MMA) [26] have been
employed successfully to solve topology optimizations. In this
paper MMA optimizer is employed, and the values for the pa-
rameters of MMA can refer to Svanbergs works [26,27].
5.3. Numerical instabilities
When a reasonable penalty exponent is exerted upon SIMP
model, the elements with intermediate values will have very
little inuence upon global stiff matrix compared to the ele-
ments with solid material. Although SIMP can compress in-
termediate density effectively, it cannot overcome numerical
instabilities such as checkerboards [7] and mesh-dependency
[30]. It should be combined with other approaches to prevent
numerical instabilities [24], such as local gradient constraint
[20], global perimeter constraint [10], sensitivity ltering tech-
niques [23], and density ltering methods [4,5]. With these
additional conditions, the topology optimization problem with
relaxation will become well-posed without checkerboards and
mesh-dependency. The continuum-type optimal solution would
approximate the original optimization problem with 01 design
variables.
Sensitivity ltering method [23] is actually a heuristic
method which works by substituting the original element-
wise sensitivities with a weighted average of the sensitivities
around their neighbors within a given characteristic radius.
Thus the smooth and differential properties of the sensitivity
eld are somewhat improved, and the regularized sensitivities
are obtained by the convolution of a compact linear operator
with original element sensitivities. Consequently, the objective
smoothness of the optimization problem is enhanced to some
extent, and the gradient lter method is seemingly efcient to
prevent the checkerboards and the mesh-dependences in engi-
neering applications.
6. Illustrative example
In this section we will illustrate the proposed approaches
using one engineering example one kind of the ying aero-
dynamic missiles. When the aerodynamic missile is ying, the
loading cases are actually very complicated. In different aviat-
ing phases, the loading cases of the missile body will be differ-
ent. In this study only the most important loading conditions
are considered. This application is based on the commercial
software package Optistruct 7.0 of Hyperworks at Altair. Op-
tistruct might be one of the best practically used commercial
software packages at present to perform structural optimization
problems, such as topology optimization, topography optimiza-
tion, shape optimization and size optimization. It has provided
convenient way to settle large scale of engineering optimization
problems. We rst perform the topology optimization prob-
lem for the free vibration to obtain the optimal solution of the
rst level. Then the multiple-stiffness optimization problem is
solved based on the optimum result of the rst level. We will
give a brief introduction with respect to the implementation
of the compromise programming formulation (Eq. (2)) in the
framework of OptiStruct 7.0.
Concerning the minimization of compliance optimization
problem under multiple loading cases, OptiStruct generally
works with a formulation in the form of a straight weighted
average with all single criteria tted together in the form of lin-
ear combination, which might be the easiest way to transform
a multi-objective problem to a single formulation. However,
just as what have been discussed in Section 2, the weighted
method cannot ensure to nd the whole set of Pareto solutions
for a non-convex problem though it is easy to be implemented.
However, formulation (2) developed by using the compromise
programming can be applied to capture the whole Pareto opti-
mum solutions for convex or non-convex problems.
Although the implementation of the compromise program-
ming scheme is somewhat slightly inconvenient in comparison
with the weighted linear formulation, the former formulation
is more well-founded theoretically than the latter. The imple-
mentation of the compromise programming formulation can be
carried out by fully making use of one of the characteristics of
OptiStruct with which users can dene the functions developed
by themselves as the response types. In other words, in Op-
tiStruct frame, designers can conveniently create user-dened
functions to act as the actual design functions. Although the
implementation of formulation (2) is seemingly not straight for-
ward within the scope of HyperMesh, the basic procedures for
implementing CP formulation (2) can be completed by using
the user-dened functions.
The implementation procedures can be briey summarized
as:
Step 1: Dening each loading cases as well as the related
load steps separately, and then running these optimization under
each loading cases respectively to obtain C
min
k
and C
max
k
.
Step 2: Dening user-dened equations, such as formulation
(2), through the panel of BCs Optimization Dequations
according to the prescribed format.
Step 3: In the response panel BCs Optimization
Responses, selecting function as the response type for the ob-
jective function, the function maps with the already-dened
function through dequation in the same panel through speci-
fying one or more user-dened equations in advance.
Step 4: Selecting the term Responses-by-loadstep from the
available options BCs Optimization Response edit,
and then select the same response for a number of different
loadsteps related to different loading cases. In this way, the
same response from different loadsteps can be added to-
gether.
370 Z. Luo et al. / Aerospace Science and Technology 10 (2006) 364373
Fig. 3. CAD model developed by using UG software.
Step 5: Choosing the user-dened function as the objec-
tive function to be minimized through the penal BCs
Optimization Objective.
OptiStruct employs SIMP interpolation scheme as mater-
ial model and convex programming method as optimizer. The
proposed multi-objective programming scheme is based on Op-
tistruct 7.0. The formulation in Eq. (12) is used as free vibration
topology optimization in the rst level. Next Eq. (13) is used to
solve multi-stiffness topology optimization problem. The mis-
sile body and missile wings are considered separately because
their strain energies are greatly different.
6.1. Discretized geometrical model for nite element analysis
and optimization
The CAD and nite element models of the missile are shown
in Fig. 3 and Fig. 4 respectively. The actual design domain is
the body structure discretized using shell elements. In Fig. 5,
several different components in the interior of the missile body
are denoted by 3D nite element models. The connection styles
among these components are simulated by using rigid element
(RBE2 in HyperMesh). In Fig. 6, the connection patterns be-
tween internal components and the missile body is expressed
by using bar elements (CBAR in HyperMesh). It should empha-
sis that the component and connection parts are not included in
the design domain, and their nite element models only used to
simulate the structural patterns and transfer the reaction forces.
The design domain is limited to the shell of the whole mis-
sile body (Fig. 7). The number of design variables is 27546,
and the total elements and nodes are 57690 and 60563, respec-
tively. The optimization control parameters for checkerboards
and mesh-dependency should be active in the related card of
Optistructs panel to prevent the numerical problems. By the
way, concerning the topology optimization of the aerodynamic
missile involving the minimization of structural compliance, it
is not a wise way to consider the wings and the body in the
same optimization problem simultaneously, because the scale
magnitudes of the compliances are very different. Therefore,
here only the shell elements of the missile body are regarded as
design variables.
Fig. 4. Finite elements Model developed by using Hypermesh software.
Fig. 5. Finite element model for interior connection styles.
Fig. 6. Connection forms of interior parts with the missile body.
6.2. Boundary conditions of nite element model
There are many different sets of loading cases during dif-
ferent stages when the aerodynamic missile is in ight. The
special set of loading cases corresponding to the moment the
missile subject to the most severe loading condition in ight is
involved. In this work, four signicant loading cases, such as
the pneumatic load induced by the difference of air owage,
inertial load in axes direction, the thrust produced by the roll
booster and the main-engine motive load, have been considered.
Z. Luo et al. / Aerospace Science and Technology 10 (2006) 364373 371
Fig. 7. Finite element model of the design domain for the missile body.
However, the detailed data and the actual performing manners
are all provided by the Optimization Group at the CASIC.
With the moving objects in space with high speed, such as
missiles, planes and satellites and so on, traditional nite ele-
ment methods or dynamic approaches might not be directly ap-
plied. We employ inertial release analysis method to deal with
the nite element analysis routine within the topology optimiza-
tion of cruising missile. Inertia relief analysis method refers to
an intentionally schemed way that employs static analysis ap-
proach to conveniently simulate the unconstrained structures,
such as airplane in ight, suspension parts of a car or a satellite
in space. The applied loads can be balanced by using a set of
translational and rotational accelerations and the summation of
the applied forces exerting on the structure is zero. This method
provides the steady-state stress and deformed shape in the struc-
ture as if it were freely accelerating due to the applied loads.
Boundary conditions are applied only to restrain rigid body mo-
tion, and the reaction forces corresponding to these boundary
conditions are zero because the external loads are balanced by
these accelerations.
The SUPORT1 in OptiStruct refers to the boundary condi-
tions to limit the rigid degrees in order to eliminate the move-
ments of rigid body. SUPORT1 constraint can be dened con-
veniently in the bulk data section of the input deck. The aerody-
namic loading cases and the missile body are symmetrical about
the (Y, Z) plane. The unit is T.MM.S. Material elastic modu-
lus of shell is 2.0 10
5
. Poisson ratio is 0.3. The density is
7.8 10
9
, and the thickness of the shell is 15. The volume
percentage is limited to 40%.
6.3. Optimal results and the optimum topologies
Table 1 shows that the weights, compliance and the fun-
damental eigenfrequency related to the performance of aero-
Table 1
Optimal results
Volume Weights Compliance Fundamental eigenfrequency
Results before optimization 3.866e+08 mm
3
3.054 T 8.190466E+02 2.929838E+02 Hz
Results after optimization 2.465e+08 mm
3
1.947 T 1.241140E+02 5.145003E+02 Hz
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
Fig. 8. Optimal topologies of the rst level in different viewpoint. (a) Optimal topology of the front part of the missile. (b) Optimal topology of the back part of the
missile. (c) Optimal topology of the whole missile body (view above). (d) Optimal topology of the whole missile body (view front).
372 Z. Luo et al. / Aerospace Science and Technology 10 (2006) 364373
(a)
(b)
Fig. 9. Optimal topologies of the second level. (a) Optimal topology of the front
part of the missile. (b) Optimal topology of the back part of the missile.
dynamic missile are all improved. The weight of the missile
body decreases from 3.054 T to 1.947 T, and the structural
compliance decreases from 819 to 124. The fundamental eigen-
frequency increases from 293 Hz to 515 Hz. The multilevel
sequence algorithm is applied as a multi-objective optimiza-
tion scheme. The free vibrating formulation is solved rstly,
and the optimal solution is 515 Hz. According to the tolerance
rule, a tolerance parameter 7.5%*(515) is introduced to relax
the second optimization problem for a more smoothly optimiz-
ing procedure. Then the compromise programming method is
applied to multi-stiffness optimization problem in the second
level, where the optimal solution in the rst level is introduced
as an extra constraint in the computational model. The efcient
solution (Pareto optimum solution) of compliance for the sec-
ond level is 124. The optimal topology of the rst level is shown
in Fig. 8, and the optimal topology of the second level is shown
in Fig. 9.
6.4. Reconstruction of geometrical model
The optimal topology cannot be directly applied to size
and shape optimization, because CAD/CAE software systems
can not identify it. Therefore, for further application, the opti-
Fig. 10. Geometrical model reconstructed of missile body.
Fig. 11. Geometrical model of the whole missile with wings.
mal topology should be converted to geometrical model. Many
CAD software systems, such as UG and PROE, can be used
to reconstruct the geometrical model according to topological
results. OSSMOOTH in Hyperworks is a specially developed
modulus to formulate geometrical model in IGES format. How-
ever, many fragmentary and irregular faces might be involved.
With this practical design we employ UG to reconstruct the
geometrical model, and the reconstruction result is shown in
Fig. 10 and Fig. 11 (including the wings). Then this model can
be imported into CAD systems to modify or into CAE system
to perform the nite element analysis. Size and Shape optimiza-
tion in the detail design phase can also be performed based on
this model. However, in this paper, we have limited our discus-
sion only on the structural topology optimization. A prototype
after the size, shape and topology optimizations has been man-
ufactured to validate the present method.
We should emphasize that the real production has been man-
ufactured according to the suggested CAD model in Figs. 10
and 11. However, the resultant engineering production is
slightly different from our original reconstructed model. It is
obvious that more factors should be incorporated during man-
ufacturing process. But all the detailed designs are based on a
conceptual model with an initially optimum topology. The per-
formance of the whole structure is obviously improved through
multi-objective topology optimization scheme.
From the demonstration of above engineering application,
it is obvious that the presented topology optimization scheme
for aerodynamic missiles takes advantages of both statically
loaded multi-stiffness problem and dynamic loaded free vibra-
Z. Luo et al. / Aerospace Science and Technology 10 (2006) 364373 373
tion problem. The static and dynamic performances of aerody-
namic missiles can be improved.
7. Conclusion
A tolerance multilevel sequence approach for solving multi-
objective topology optimization problems has been proposed
for the optimal design of aerodynamic missiles with static and
dynamic objectives. The statically loaded multi-stiffness prob-
lem is regarded as the rst level to be optimized and the free vi-
bration problemis settled as the second level. The performances
of aerodynamic missiles could be improved obviously by us-
ing multi-objective optimization scheme. The SIMP density-
stiffness interpolation model, the convex programming method
and numerical instabilities such as checkerboards and mesh de-
pendencies, are also considered. The multi-objective program-
ming for topology optimization of aerodynamic missiles with
the whole missile body as the design domain has been pro-
posed. The methodologies are illustrated by one typical engi-
neering application.
Acknowledgements
This work is supported by the National 863 High-Tech De-
velopment Project of China under the grant No. 2003AA001031
and the National 973 Key Fundamental Research Project of
China under the grant No. 2003CB716207. We are also grateful
to the anonymous referees for their insightful comments.
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