Aerospace Concept Exploration System

Architecture and Methods for an Air Vehicle Design Tool

by Jia Xu, David Porter Merrell, John P. Godges, James S. Chow

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The capability to assess aerospace vehicle designs independently, consistently and rapidly can help RAND address complex technological and operational questions with agility, objectivity and precision. We developed the Aerospace Concept Exploration System (ACES) to fulfill this need. In the RAND context, the ACES design tool can serve as the vehicle design component of large-scale end-to-end concept development and system evaluations. This Working Paper details the motivation, theory, applicability and architecture of the ACES design tool.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Motivation, Requirements and Limitations

  • Chapter Two

    ACES Architecture and Models

  • Chapter Three

    Software Design to Contain Complexity

  • Chapter Four

    Post-Processing and Visualization

  • Chapter Five

    Verification and Validation

  • Chapter Six

    Blended Wing Body UAV Design Study

  • Chapter Seven


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The research reported here was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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