A discrete Navier-Stokes adjoint method for aerodynamic optimisation of BlendedWing-Body configurations
An aerodynamic shape optimisation capability based on a discrete adjoint solver for Navier-
Stokes flows is developed and applied to a Blended Wing-Body future transport aircraft.
The optimisation is gradient-based and employs either directly a Sequential Quadratic Programming
optimiser or a variable-fidelity optimisation method that combines low- and
high-fidelity models. The shape deformations are parameterised using a B´ezier-Bernstein
formulation and the structured grid is automatically deformed to represent the design changes.
The flow solver at the heart of this optimisation chain is a Reynolds averaged Navier-
Stokes code for multiblock structured grids. It uses Osher’s approximate Riemann solver
for accurate shock and boundary layer capturing, an implicit temporal discretisation and
the algebraic turbulence model of Baldwin-Lomax. The discrete Navier-Stokes adjoint
solver based on this CFD code shares the same implicit formulation but has to calculate
accurately the flow Jacobian. This implies a linearisation of the Baldwin-Lomax model.
The accuracy of the resulting adjoint solver is verified through comparison with finitedifference.
The aerodynamic shape optimisation chain is applied to an aerofoil drag minimisation problem.
This serves as a test case to try and reduce computing time by simplifying the fidelity
of the model. The simplifications investigated include changing the convergence level of
the adjoint solver, reducing the grid size and modifying the physical model of the adjoint
solver independently or in the entire optimisation process. A feasible optimiser and the use
of a penalty function are also tested. The variable-fidelity method proves to be the most ef-
ficient formulation so it is employed for the three-dimensional optimisations in addition to
parallelisation of the flow and adjoint solvers with OpenMP. A three-dimensional Navier-
Stokes optimisation of the ONERA M6 wing is presented. After describing the concept
of Blended Wing-Body and the studies carried out on this aircraft, several aerodynamic
optimisations are performed on this geometry with the capability developed in this thesis.
Advisor:Qin, N (supervisor)
School Location:United Kingdom
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:12/01/2002