This paper reviews the status of advanced computational simulation techniques in the aerodynamic design of modern aircraft. An outline of the aircraft design process is provided, and the most relevant trade-offs between disciplines are presented to justify the leading role that aerodynamic design plays in this truly multidisciplinary process. A control theory based adjoint approach which considerably reduces the computational cost of the calculation of design sensitivities is presented. Our experience with this method is described with the help of several computational design examples that cover a substantial range of objective functions, computational models, and geometric complexity. Using the adjoint method, entire design optimization calculations can be completed with a computational cost equivalent to only a few (typically less than ten) analysis runs. In comparison with current practice in an industrial setting, the design approach presented in this paper can yield large computational savings as well as reduced turn around times that can be used to either decrease the time to market or to increase the number of design iterations within a given time frame.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aerospace Engineering
- Space and Planetary Science