Abstract

Machine learning and big data have become the most disruptive technologies for organizations to improve workplace efficiency and productivity. This work explored the application of machine learning-based predictive analytics that would enable aircraft engine designers to estimate engine system performance quickly during the conceptual design stage. Supervised machine-learning algorithm was employed to study patterns in an open-source database of one-hundred-eighty-three production and research turbofan engines, and built predictive analytics for use in predicting system performance of new turbofan designs. Specifically, the author developed deep-learning analytics to predict turbofan system weight, using turbofan design parameters as the input. The predictive analytics were trained and deployed in Keras, an open-source neural networks API (application program interface) written in Python, with TensorFlow (an open-source Google machine learning library) serving as the backend engine. The current engine-weight prediction results, together with those for the TSFC (thrust specific fuel consumption) and core-size predictions that were studied previously by the author, show that machine learning-based predictive analytics can be an effective, time-saving tool for assessing aircraft engine system performance (TSFC, weight, and core size) during the conceptual design stage. It would enable expeditious identification of the best engine design amongst several candidates.

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