Integrated Product Development for the Wing Structural Design of the High Speed Civil Transport

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Marx, William J.
Mavris, Dimitri N.
Schrage, Daniel P.
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The extent of knowledge required to perform the task of integrating manufacturing with aircraft design is beyond the expertise of a single engineer. This defines the need for a decision support system, or Knowledge-Based System, to aid the engineer in performing parallel product and process trades. This paper describes a research effort that includes development and integration of a manufacturing knowledge base and a rule-based reasoning system. NASA interests in the research discussed in this paper are directly related to their High Speed Research program. According to the program, NASA and this country's aerospace industry have undertaken the challenge of designing and building a 2 nd generation supersonic commercial transport by the early 21 st century. The proposed aircraft, called the High Speed Civil Transport, is envisioned to cruise at Mach 2.4 and carry 300 passengers to destinations in excess of 5,000 nautical miles. In addition, this aircraft must be economically viable and affordable, while being environmentally friendly and abiding by all appropriate FAR and EPA requirements. Integrated Product Development techniques aimed at assessing producibility can help designers perform the necessary trade-off studies to design the strongest, lightest possible structure at the least cost that meets the load-carrying requirement for a specified aircraft range. This concurrent design requires an integration of design with manufacturing and an optimization process that will consider design trade-offs related to product performance, producibility, and support. This integrated design and manufacturing approach can be used to develop low cost, producible structural design concepts. This approach involves encoding the knowledge of human experts concerning aircraft manufacturing and design into an appropriate representation. The seamless integration of a manufacturing Knowledge-Based System with aircraft preliminary design and analysis tools will yield a concurrent engineering system that will assist aerospace systems designers in performing parallel product and process design trades.
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