Evolutionary Algorithms Applied to Multi-Objective Aerodynamic Shape Optimization


Optimization problems in many industrial applications are very hard to solve. Many examples of them can be found in the design of aeronautical systems. In this field, the designer is frequently faced with the problem of considering not only a single design objective, but several of them, i.e., the designer needs to solve a Multi-Objective Optimization Problem (MOP). In aeronautical systems design, aerodynamics plays a key role in aircraft design, as well as in the design of propulsion system components, such as turbine engines. Thus, aerodynamic shape optimization is a crucial task, and has been extensively studied and developed. Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithms (MOEAs) have gained popularity in recent years as optimization methods in this area, mainly because of their simplicity, their ease of use and their suitability to be coupled to specialized numerical simulation tools. In this chapter, we will review some of the most relevant research on the use of MOEAs to solve multi-objective and/or multi-disciplinary aerodynamic shape optimization problems. In this review, we will highlight some of the benefits and drawbacks of the use of MOEAs, as compared to traditional design optimization methods. In the second part of the chapter, we will present a case study on the application of MOEAs for the solution of a multi-objective aerodynamic shape optimization problem.