Aircraft and Engine Structural Design and Optimisation (AESDO)

 AESDO Group is involved in research activities about the more recent aspects of aeronautical and space structural design and optimisation. Moreover, AESDO Group has a main role in the numerical and experimental activities of the High Quality Laboratory (LAQ) “AERMEC - Aeromechanical Structural Systems”. LAQ - AERMEC "promotes, coordinates and carries out theoretical and experimental research, focusing on the thermomechanical simulation of aerospace systems and propulsion systems. This research work is instrumental in the development of innovative multidisciplinary design and testing methods, and in investigating and developing innovative methods supported by laboratory testing".
The research activity may be resumed in 6 main areas. For each of them, the link between numerical modelling and experimental validation is strong and LAQ-AERMEC is the framework in which both kinds of activity are conducted.

  • Innovative materials characterisation: development of simple models providing the equivalent engineering constants, density and other main properties for complex honeycomb, corrugated and metallic foams geometries for sandwich structures application.
  • Modelling of composite structures: formulation, implementation and improvement of mixed beam and plate finite elements for static, dynamic, buckling and failure analyses of undamaged and damaged composite and sandwich multilayered structures. The activity is conducted in collaboration with dr. Alexander Tessler, NASA Langley Research Center, https://rzt.larc.nasa.gov.
  • Monitoring: development of health monitoring strategies, in particular based on shape-sensing (reconstruction of the deformed shape of a structure from measured surface-strains, activity conducted in collaboration with dr. Alexander Tessler, NASA Langley Research Center, https://ifem.larc.nasa.gov) and damage detection (numerical and experimental damage detection techniques mainly based on vibrations data
  • Impacts simulation: low velocity impacts (quasi-static indentation tests on multilayered composite and sandwich structures,numerical evaluation of the contact area and of the pressure distribution), mid/high velocity impacts (numerical simulations and ballistic tests for the evaluation of engine internal impacts due to blade release and foreign/domestic objects, bird impact).
  • Optimisation and probabilistic design: design space exploration techniques (DOE), multiobjective and multidisciplinary optimisation methods that allow taking into account stochastic variation of design parameters (Reliability Robust Design), optimisation of complex engineering systems.
  • Collaborative design: development of common Integrated Collaborative Design Environments for virtual product development and product life cycle management through IT technologies (SOA architecture) wrapping design process and tools over geographically distributed locations.

The experimental activities are conducted mainly to assess the numerical models and take advantage of a number of available facilities, sensors and acquisition systems.

  • INSTRON-8516 machine for tensile tests (maximum static load 120 kN, maximum frequency 100 Hz).
  • Gas-guns with several cross-section dimensions (up to 20 cm diameter) and lengths (up to 10 m) for ballistic tests (projectiles with different mass and velocity up to 300 m/s).
  • Multi-axial testing machine (maximum static load 300 kN) for flat and curved panels (maximum size 1 m x 1 m) with pressurization effects (up to 1.5 bar).
  • Electromechanical shakers (maximum load 8 kN).
  • Scanning LASER Doppler Vibrometer.
  • Acquisition systems LMS SCADAS III (software Testlab) and HBM MGC PLUS (software CATMAN).

The Group has gained a recognized experience on the use of commercial codes as PATRAN, NASTRAN, DYTRAN, ABAQUS, ANSYS, RADIOSS, I-SIGHT and on the development of in-house codes mainly based on MATLAB.

Research areas