Numerical design of a RIM-driven thruster using a RANS-based optimization approach

Stefano Gaggero (University of Genoa)

A simulation-based design optimization (SBDO) tool is proposed for the design of rim driven thrusters. The optimization framework driven by modeFRONTIER consists of a parametric description of the rim blade geometry and a multi-objective optimization algorithm which makes use of the results from high-fidelity RANS calculations to drive the choice towards optimal blade shapes. Maximization of the propulsive efficiency and minimization of cavitation, monitored through the simplest cavitation inception criterion based on the analysis of the non-cavitating pressure distribution over the blade, are the contrasting objectives selected for the design.