Assistant Professor John Hwang is spearheading a team of researchers in a groundbreaking project funded by NASA with a $750,000 grant. Over the next three years, they will be pioneering new computational methods for hybrid and turbo-electric aircraft design. The project's ambitious goal is to develop multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) algorithms capable of efficiently optimizing hundreds of design parameters using physics-based or data-driven models for electrified propulsion aircraft. The research will enable scalable design optimization using unsteady aerodynamic models and powertrain models for hybrid and turbo-electric aircraft through adjoint sensitivity analysis. With collaborative efforts from Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing research subsidiary, this project will validate models and address industry-relevant design challenges. Building upon the success of an ongoing center-level NASA project led by Professor Hwang, which focuses on MDO for fully electric urban air mobility aircraft, this new endeavor will shift the focus to regional air mobility and regional aircraft, setting a new benchmark in aviation research.
October 17, 2023