The problem of building more capable planes turns out to be less of a predicament for computer algorithms than it is for human engineers. Eliseo Delgado Jr. explains below how the aviation industry is getting a few major redesigns to their vehicles that can help ensure safer and more energy-efficient flights using new computer algorithms.
Eliseo Delgado Jr. is a computer engineer who’s studied a variety of technology fields and consumer products that rely on computer programming. He’s studied topics like artificial intelligence, 5G, the Internet of Things, cloud storage and more and shares his findings with his online audience.
Recently, he’s closely followed advances in aviation design in the media and has witnessed how algorithms and generative design is allowing engineers to accomplish feats they’ve never been able to achieve before.
“One of the largest obstacles when designing new planes is making them safe enough for regular flight while cutting down on costs and materials as much as possible to avoid overcharging for airfare,” says Eliseo Delgado Jr. “Before computers and recent algorithms, engineers had to bang their heads against the wall to figure out how to make planes lighter while attempting to boost their integrity without overspending on budget.”
Aviation industry giant Airbus recently partnered with the design and engineering software company Autodesk to use a resource called generative design to make new plane models. Generative design is programming software that allows engineers to input a variety of rules or parameters before its system returns a range of potential results. It’s helping the industry to discover new solutions where the human brain has failed consistently before.
“In the past, engineers would make planes more secure by adding new support beams and cross-bracing where necessary, using only a handful of materials they knew could stand up to the job,” says Eliseo Delgado Jr. “Generative design doesn’t begin with an initial model before adding supporting material to try and accomplish goals; it uses a range of information that it strings together to basically grow an entirely new product into the mold that we’re looking for.”
Afterwards, the computer program’s artificial intelligence returns thousands of options that are charted out with variations in style and varying attributes. From this, engineers can carefully look through designs and determine top contenders. They can then either put new specifications into the system or allow it simply to learn on its own to develop even more efficient models.
“Generative design is proving to simplify the complexity of building really standout plane models that consider elements like comfort for passengers, weight of the plane, aerodynamics, durability, and much more,” says Eliseo Delgado Jr.
Today, tech company Autodesk is dedicating much of their time and resources into generative design specifically for their recent partnership with Airbus. Together, they expect to produce wildly more efficient planes and more comprehensive software in the next five years.