Paper presented at the 5th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, South Africa, 1-4 July, 2007.
The process of developing an optimization tool for the fins of hypersonic vehicles to minimize the aerodynamic heating is described. A code was developed to calculate aerodynamic coefficient and aerodynamic heating of swept isolated fins using shock-expansion theory while taking into account the equilibrium gas effects, and semi-empirical methods. Subsequently, an optimizing program was developed based on the continuous genetic algorithm for finding the global minima. By coupling these two programs, several isolated blunt fin geometries were optimized such that their leading edge aerodynamic heating was minimized while their lift coefficients remained constant. the results show that the leading edge aerodynamic heating and the drag coefficients of the fins were reduced significantly, which indicates the powerful capability of the optimization method.