A new method for automatic optimization of an initial design of open and ducted propellers is illustrated in the paper. The method is based on a B-Spline based parametric representation of the main geometric parameter of the propeller blades, such as pitch and chords distributions along the radius and blade mean surface (cambered surface) as a BSpline surface. The automatic optimization procedure is driven by a state of the art multi-objective minimization algorithm that drives the selection of the control points that define the shape of the geometric parameters curves and surfaces. The objective function can include not only global characteristics such as efficiency and thrust, but also sheet cavitation extension and volume. The prediction of the propeller hydrodynamic characteristics is made by a panel method developed by the authors and validated in several occasions, applicable to open or ducted propellers, also subject to sheet cavitation.

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