Fast and accurate airfoil design under uncertainty using non-intrusive polynomial chaos (NIPC) expansions and utility functions is proposed. The NIPC expansions provide a means to efficiently and accurately compute statistical information for a given set of input variables with associated probability distribution. Utility functions provide a way to rigorously formulate the design problem. In this work, these two methods are integrated for the design of airfoil shapes under uncertainty. The proposed approach is illustrated on a numerical example of lift-constrained airfoil drag minimization in transonic viscous flow using the Mach number as an uncertain variable. The results show that compared with the standard problem formulation the proposed approach yields more robust designs. In other words, the designs obtained by the proposed approach are less sensitive to variations in the uncertain variables than those obtained with the standard problem formulation.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Design under uncertainty; stochastic surrogates; transonic airfoil design; utility theory

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Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

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Final Version

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Publication Date

01 Jan 2017