Automated design space exploration was implemented and demonstrated in the form of the multidisciplinary optimization of the design of a space-based telescope.
Off-the-shelf software representing the industry standards for thermal, structural, and optical analysis were employed. The integrated thermal/structural/optical models were collected and tasked with finding an optimum design using yet another off-the-shelf program. Using this integrated tool, the minimum mass thermal/structural design was found that directly satisfied optical performance requirements without relying on derived requirements such as isothermality and mechanical stability. Overdesign was therefore avoided, and engineering productivity was greatly improved.
This ambitious project was intended to be a pathfinder for integrated design activities. Therefore, difficulties and lessons learned are presented, along with recommendations for future investigations.