Investigation of Turbulence Model Uncertainty for Supersonic/Hypersonic Shock Wave-Boundary Layer Interaction Predictions


The purpose of this paper is to present the results of an uncertainty and sensitivity analysis study for commonly used turbulence models in Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes codes due to the epistemic uncertainty in closure coeficients for selected supersonic and hypersonic shock wave-turbulent boundary layer interaction problems that are of interest to the turbulence modeling community. The CFD cases studied include: (1) a turbulence model validation case consisting of an axisymmetric cylindrical body with a trailing edge are of 20 degrees at an upstream Mach number of 7.11, and (2) an axisymmetric shock wave boundary layer interaction case with a trailing edge are of 30 degrees at Mach = 2.85 that is of interest in the NASA's 40% Challenge and CFD Prediction Error Assessment Workshop. Two turbulence models are investigated: the Spalart-Allmaras Model and the Wilcox (2006) k-ω Model. The flow solver used in the study is FUN3D, a code developed by NASA Langley Research Center. The uncertainty quantification approach involves stochastic expansions based on non-intrusive polynomial chaos to effciently propagate the uncertainty. All closure coeficients are treated as epistemic uncertain variables. Sobol indices are used to rank the relative contribution of each closure coeficient to the total uncertainty for several output flow quantities. The results of the current study generalize the findings of a previously conducted study on shock wave-turbulent boundary layer interactions and identify a set of closure coeficients for each turbulence model which contribute most to the uncertainty in various output quantities of interest.

Meeting Name

22nd AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonics Systems and Technologies Conference (2018: Sep. 17-19, Orlando, FL)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research


The authors would like to acknowledge the support for this research provided by the NASA Grant NNX14AN17A

Keywords and Phrases

Boundary layer flow; Computational fluid dynamics; Hypersonic boundary layers; Hypersonic flow; NASA; Navier Stokes equations; Reynolds equation; Sensitivity analysis; Shock waves; Stochastic systems; Turbulence models; Turbulent flow; Uncertainty analysis, NASA Langley Research Center; Quantities of interests; Reynolds averaged navier stokes codes; Shock wave boundary layer interactions; Supersonic and hypersonic; Turbulent boundary-layer interactions; Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis; Uncertainty quantifications, Atmospheric thermodynamics

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 Sep 2018