A Parametric Constraint Analysis Report

About This Document

This document captures the design algorithm used to place the first set of boundaries around the design domain of the aircraft. The algorithm is implemented in Python, embedded in a Jupyter notebook. You can open this notebook (constraint_analysis.ipynb) by starting the Jupyter server (type jupyter notebook into a terminal window opened in the directory containing your notebook) - this should open Jupyter in the default browser, pointing at http://localhost:8888.[1]

The variable names have been chosen to be as intuitive as possible and additional explanations are provided in places to enhance clarity. The naming convention for all variables is to encapsulate the unit too, separated from the variable name by an underscore:

In [1]: VariableName_unit = 0

Variable names ending in an underscore are non-dimensional:

In [2]: VariableName_ = 0

This document captures one instance of a Jupyter notebook document. In other words, it is a parametric, self-building document, compiled from the output of an ipynb file. A similar document can be generated for a different design brief by editing and re-running the ipynb and compiling it with a tool called nbconvert by typing: jupyter nbconvert —to latex constraint_analysis.ipynb into the command window.

This document can then be included in the design audit trail of your aircraft and it can be re-instantiated later for a new design. It is a parametric, living, document.

We have annotated the document with explanatory notes like this one for convenience - of course, once the conceptual design process is complete, the reader may wish to delete these paragraphs to obtain a more concise document.

  • [1] To install Python load Anaconda version 2.7 onto your computer from https://www.continuum.io/downloads. Thendownload the aerocalc package from http://www.kilohotel.com/python/aerocalc/. To install aerocalc after you haveset up Anaconda, first unpack the downloaded gz file into a directory, then start a command window in that directoryand type “python setup.py install” there. If you also wish to locally convert files into latex documents youwill need to load the pandoc package from http://pandoc.org/installing.html where installation instructions can befound. Once all the software is installed go to the directory containing the ipynb file and type “jupyter notebook” into the window there. Within Jupyter one can edit individual cells, typically by changing input values butalso the formulae - having done this it is then sensible to use the “Restart & Run All” option on the cellsfrom the “Kernel” tab in the Jupyter window. Once the analysis is finished either use the print options to generate hardcopy or close the Jupyter session and run nbconvert by typing jupyter nbconvert --to latexconstraint_analysis.ipynb into the command window.
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