A genetic algorithm based on real parameter representation using a variable selection pressure and variable probability of mutation is used to optimize an annular air breathing rocket inlet called the Exchange Inlet. A rapid and accurate design method which provides estimates for air breathing, mixing, and isentropic flow performance is used as the engine of the optimization routine. Comparison to detailed numerical simulations show that the design method yields desired exit Mach numbers to within approximately 1% over 75% of the annular exit area and predicts entrained air massflows to between 1% and 9% of numerically simulated values depending on the flight condition. Optimum designs are shown to be obtained within approximately 8000 fitness function evaluations in a search space on the order of 106. The method is also shown to be able to identify beneficial values for particular alleles when they exist while showing the ability to handle cases where physical and aphysical designs co-exist at particular values of a subset of alleles within a gene. For an air breathing engine based on a hydrogen fuelled rocket an exchange inlet is designed which yields a predicted air entrainment ratio within 95% of the theoretical maximum.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Airbreathing, Genetic, Inlet, Optimization, Rocket
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2017.05.035
Journal Acta Astronautica
Citation
Chorkawy, G., & Etele, J. (2017). Exchange inlet optimization by genetic algorithm for improved RBCC performance. Acta Astronautica, 138, 201–213. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2017.05.035