Differentiation of the TFS Package
Area: Computational Fluid Dynamics
At Aachen University of Technology, a team of engineers, mathematicians, and computer scientists is investigating the fluid-structure interaction at airplane wings to further advance scientific knowledge of the aerodynamics of cruise and high lift configurations. One of the projects aims at optimizing an airfoil with respect to certain design parameters. Traditionally, finding a suitable set of parameters is carried out by running the simulation code over and over again with perturbed inputs. However, this approach may consume enormous computing time and may also require an experienced user to select suitable sets of parameters just to achieve improvement, even without optimality. Here, numerical optimization techniques can help reduce the number of simulation runs, but in particular provide more goal-oriented computational support for a design engineer. When embedding a pure simulation code in an optimization framework, a crucial ingredient to any gradient-based optimization algorithm is the derivative of the output of the simulation with respect to the set of design parameters. Here, the Adifor tool is applied to a computational fluid dynamics code called TFS developed at the Aerodynamics Institute, Aachen University of Technology, to get accurate derivatives of the flow field with respect to certain design parameters.