Advanced composite materials are becoming more prevalent in marine applications, including marine rotors. Traditional rigid metallic marine rotors are highly optimized for a specific loading condition, away from which they tend to become sub-optimal. When properly designed, an adaptive composite marine rotor can provide improved performance through increased flexibility and hydroelastic tailoring of the structural deformations, allowing the blades to passively adapt to changing inflows through fluid-structure interactions. Because of the load-dependent deformations that an adaptive marine rotor will undergo, considerations must be made for variations in both propeller advance speed and rotational frequency that will affect hydrodynamic and structural performance. Through development of a probabilistic operational space, various rotor designs are considered herein in an effort to determine the appropriate loading condition to optimize the geometry and material configuration such that it maximizes the performance improvements. A sample set of geometries with varying material configurations and design speeds within the predicted design space are presented and analyzed over the probable range of operating conditions. A reliability-based global optimization technique is then presented to determine the optimal design point, geometry, and material configuration that maximizes hydroelastic performance over the range of anticipated flow conditions.

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