OpenVSP (Vehicle Sketch Pad) is a geometry modeling tool for conceptual aircraft design. The software rapidly models aircraft configurations without expending the expertise required for traditional Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages. Further development of OpenVSP software will stimulate economic opportunity in aviation and aerospace.
An aircraft shape is the natural starting point for multidisciplinary analysis and optimization (MDAO). The outer mold lines and structural layout are the drivers for and interface between aerodynamics, structures, mass properties, and all the physics that impact a vehicle's performance. Parameterization facilitates design and optimization by reducing the problem dimensionality and improving descriptive expressiveness. The aerospace industry and designers in particular have long described aircraft geometry parametrically; familiar quantities such as aspect ratio, taper ratio, sweep angle, and thickness to chord construct a common vocabulary for aircraft shape. Vehicle Sketch Pad (VSP) is an aircraft geometry tool for rapid evaluation of advanced design concepts which was developed by NASA and is available to industry at large. A useful parametric geometry tool must not only depict the geometry, but it must translate the familiar description of an aircraft into a model which can be useful for engineering purposes such as CFD or FEA analysis.