Barrett, T.R., Bressloff, N.W. and Keane, A.J.
Airfoil design and optimization using multi-fidelity analysis and embedded inverse design.
In, 47th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, Newport, Rhode Island, USA,
01 - 04 May 2006.
The increasing poopularity of high fidelity computational fluid dynamics simulations in aerodynamic design has stimulated research into more efficient design optimization methods. A common contributor to this efficiency is a reduction in problem dimensions via the use of novel parameterization techniques. The focus of this paper is on the high fidelity aerodynamic design of airfoil shapes. A multi-fidelity design search method is presented which uses a parameterization of the airfoil pressure distribution followed by inverse design, giving a reduction in the number of design variables used in optimization. While an expensive analysis code is used in evaluationg airfoil performance, computational cost is reduced by using a low-fidelity code in the inverse design process. This method is run side by side with a method which is considered to be a current benchmark in design optimization. The two methods are described in detail, and their relative performance is compared and discussed. The newly presented method is found to converge towards the optimum design significantly more quickly than the benchmark method, providing designs with greater performance for a given computational expense.
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