Investigation of the Impact of Turbulence Models on Robust Aerodynamic Shape Optimization


The objective of this paper is to investigate the impact of two commonly used turbulence models in Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes simulations on the optimum design obtained with the gradient-based deterministic and robust aerodynamic shape optimization in transonic, viscous, turbulent flow. The robust design is performed under the variation of Mach number defined as the uncertain variable. The impact of each turbulence model is evaluated in terms of the computational cost and the difference in the shape and the performance of final design obtained with different turbulence models. The two turbulence models investigated include Spalart-Allmaras and the Menter's Shear Stress Transport models. In this study, Hicks-Henne bump functions, B-Spline curves and Free-Form Deformation are utilized as shape parameterization techniques. The results of the current study show that the shape parameterization technique has larger impact on the computational cost compared to the turbulence model in both deterministic and robust design. Robust design tends to reduce the impact of the turbulence model selection on the optimum shape and performance, whereas the turbulence model becomes important for the deterministic design at off-design conditions. In this study, the improvement of the robustness of the final design obtained with stochastic optimization approach is also demonstrated over the Mach number range considered as the uncertain operating condition.

Meeting Name

AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2018 (2018: Jan. 8-12, Kissimmee, FL)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research


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

Keywords and Phrases

Aerodynamics; Aviation; Curve fitting; Mach number; Navier Stokes equations; Shear stress; Supersonic aircraft; Turbulence models, Deterministic design; Free-form deformation; Off design condition; Reynolds-averaged navier-stokes simulations; Robust aerodynamic shape optimizations; Shape parameterization techniques; Shear-stress transport; Stochastic optimization approach, Shape optimization

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2018 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2018