Using Existing Flow-Field Analysis Codes for Inverse Design of Three-Dimentional Aerodynamic Shapes

  • George S. Dulikravich
  • Daniel P. Baker
Part of the Notes on Numerical Fluid Mechanics (NNFM) book series (NONUFM, volume 65)


This chapter demonstrates that it is possible to use existing proven arbitrary flow-field analysis codes without any modifications to perform inverse aerodynamic design of two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes. A general concept for inverse design of aerodynamic shapes based on treating the aerodynamic surface as an elastic membrane subject to a specified surface pressure distribution is explained. A new mathematical formulation based on the Fourier series analytical solution of this model is detailed. The method is formulated for two-dimensional and for three-dimensional configurations. It can be used in conjunction with any available flow-field analysis code without a need for modification of such a code. Preliminary testing of the new method is performed with a potential flow surface panel code, an Euler flow solver, and a Navier-Stokes flow solver. The convergence rate of the design process is found to be similar for both non-lifting and lifting aerodynamic shapes with the Navier-Stokes flow solver typically requiring minimum number of design iterations. Suggestions for further research and improvements are made.


Elastic Membrane Degree Angle Inverse Design Aerodynamic Shape Airfoil Shape 
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Copyright information

© Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • George S. Dulikravich
    • 1
  • Daniel P. Baker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Aerospace EngineeringThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkU.S.A.

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