Shape Optimization for Aerodynamic Efficiency using Adjoint Methods - White Paper

Adjoint solvers take a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) flow solution and calculate the sensitivity of performance indicators (e.g. drag, heat transfer) to all of the design variables. Once an adjoint solution is obtained, the designer has key information on how to alter the shape of the design in order to improve the quantity of interest. Mesh morphing is an easy and powerful tool that allows the geometry to be altered at the mesh level and within the parallel solver in order to evaluate effects of the design alterations. The user may then iterate on this process to achieve an optimum design without the need to return to the original CAD geometry. For complex geometries, the aerodynamic interactions become complex and the insight gained by such an optimization method can take the design in directions which would not be intuitive to follow and difficult to represent using parametric geometry.