Numerical Simulation for Composite Wing Structure Design Optimization of a Minitype Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Yan Zhang, Fenfen Xiong, Shuxing Yang*
Box 14, School of Aerospace Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China.

© 2010 Zhang et al

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Box 14, School of Aerospace Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China; Tel: +86-010-68912419(office); Fax: +86-010-68912419; E-mail:


To improve the structure performances of minitype unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) wing, numerical simulation and optimization design principle was carried out for designing the best composites wing structure. Thus tradeoff can be obtained between the general performance and the weight of the wing. Advanced composite material has its own outstanding features, such as high specific strength, high specific modulus, designable performance and integral forming easily. The application of advanced composite material on the aerocraft structure can significantly reduce the weight, and improve the aerodynamic and flight performances. In this paper, the parametric finite element model is established using parametric modeling technique for stress and stain analysis. Given any set of geometric parameters, the geometric modeling, meshing, strain and stress analysis can be automatically carried out in sequence. The global optimal solution is guaranteed by the proposed two-step optimization search strategy combing genetic algorithm (GA) and sequential quadratic programming (SQP). Comparative studies show that the optimization efficiency can be greatly improved with the two-step optimization search strategy.

Keywords: Advanced composite material, structure design, parametric finite element modeling, optimization design.