MICADO: Aircraft Design at ILR

Multidisciplinary Integrated Conceptual Aircraft Design and Optimization Environment

Motivation and approach

The central task in conceptual overall aircraft design is to size an aircraft towards a given set of top-level aircraft requirements and optimize it towards certain evaluation criteria.

The ILR MICADO software platform fulfills these goals allowing the user to quickly set up new aircraft designs and investigate large parameter spaces with minimum pre- and post-processing.

Design Methodology

The MICADO design methodology (figure right) incorporates an iterative execution of specific design and analysis programs leading to a fully converged aircraft design.

The integrated sizing logic comprises component resizing and snowball effects to ensure realistic capturing of the impact of particular design changes or systems integration on overall aircraft level.


  • Overall aircraft design studies and optimizations
  • Aircraft operational studies and optimizations
  • Investigation and assessment of innovative technologies and configurations
  • Handling qualities and stability and control characteristics
  • Cost and life cycle analyses
  • Assessment of ecological impacts, e.g. noise and emissions




Software Features

  • Object-oriented and extensible software architecture based on loosely coupled program modules and XML data flow and parameterization
  • Black-box optimization software integrated based on a mesh-adaptive direct search algorithm
  • Export of designed aircraft geometry to watertight CAD models for high fidelity post-processing or more detailed design tasks


Florian Schültke, M.Sc RWTH