Selecting technologies in aircraft conceptual design using probabilistic inversion

Martijn N. Roelofs*, Dorota Kurowicka, Roelof Vos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


Technology forecasting is an essential starting point for conceptual design of any complex engineering system. In fact, many research projects are focused on developing a small set of promising technologies to a suitable readiness level. However, selecting a set of technologies from a larger pool is a nontrivial task, opposed by uncertainty and subjective tradeoffs. This paper proposes a probabilistic method to represent technologies and quantify their effects, while accounting for uncertainty. Using probabilistic inversion, technologies can be selected from a larger set to meet a certain combination of requirements. Several test cases illustrate the method and how it may be used in conceptual design projects. It is concluded that probabilistic inversion enables answering technology development and selection queries, which would be challenging to answer with traditional deterministic approaches, or purely forward uncertainty propagation approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-362
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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