Investigation of the Effectiveness of Selected Shape Parameterization Techniques for Robust Aerodynamic Optimization


The objective of this paper is to investigate the effectiveness of two shape parameterization techniques for robust aerodynamic shape optimization of airfoils in transonic, viscous flow under the variation of Mach number defined as an uncertain variable. The effectiveness of the shape paraterization techniques is evaluated in terms of the computational cost of optimization and the performance increase achieved with the final design. In this study, Hicks-Henne and B-spline shape parametrization techniques are studied. The same shape parametrization techniques are also utilized for deterministic shape optimization and the results are compared to the observations made for the robust design case. For each method, the effect of the number of design variables and their distribution (cosine or uniform) over the geometry on the effectiveness of deterministic and robust optimization are studied. The results of the current study show that the number of design variables and their distributions can significantly impact the computational cost and the aerodynamic performance metrics in both robust and deterministic designs. The improvement of the robustness of the final design obtained with stochastic optimization approach is demonsrated over the Mach number range considered as the uncertain operating condition for the aerodynamic optimization problem studied in this paper.

Meeting Name

35th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference (2017: Jun. 5-9, Denver, CO)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


The reseach presented in this paper is performed under the support provided by NASA Grant NNX14AN17A.

Keywords and Phrases

Aerodynamics; Mach number; Optimization, Aero-dynamic performance; Aerodynamic optimization; Deterministic design; Operating condition; Robust aerodynamic shape optimizations; Robust optimization; Shape parameterization techniques; Stochastic optimization approach, Shape optimization

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Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

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© 2017 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2017

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