A European project on the development of
adaptive higher order variational methods for aerospace applications

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has become a key technology in the development of new products in the aeronautical industry. During the last years the aerodynamic design engineers have progressively adapted their way-of-working to take advantage of the possibilities offered by new CFD capabilities based on the solution of the Euler and Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations. Significant improvements in physical modelling and solution algorithms have been as important as the enormous increase of computer power to enable numerical simulations in all stages of aircraft development. In particular, better automation of mesh generation techniques due to unstructured mesh technology and a generalized block-structured grid approach with non-matching and overlapping grids resulted in the ability to predict the flow physics and aerodynamic data of highly complex configurations.

However, despite the progress made in CFD, in terms of user time and computational resources, large aerodynamic simulations of viscous high Reynolds number flows around complex aircraft configurations are still very expensive. The requirement to reliably achieve results at a sufficient level of accuracy within short turn-around times places severe constraints on the application of CFD for aerodynamic data production, and the integration of high-fidelity methods in multidisciplinary simulation and optimization procedures. Consequently, enhanced CFD capabilities for reducing design cycle and cost are indispensable for industry. Finally on a longer term, advanced physical models like DES and VLES will be used for evaluating the envelope of the final design, but it becomes clear that the results with second order methods too often depend on the mesh which cannot be tuned sufficiently well, once more stressing the need for higher accuracy.

In order to add a major step towards the development of next generation CFD tools with significant improvements in accuracy and efficiency the specific target research project ADIGMA was initiated within the 3rd Call of the 6th European Research Framework Programme.  ADIGMA is dedicated to further development and extension of promising algorithms to real world applications by overcoming current limitations and bottlenecks. A number of innovative activities will be undertaken associated with the development of higher-order discretizations in combination with reliable advanced adaptation strategies. With the help of a highly skilled consortium well balanced between upstream research, applied research and aerospace industry, the ADIGMA project is aiming at scientific results and algorithms/methods which are completely novel in an industrial environment. The project will start the second half of 2006 and will last three years. This paper describes the background of this research activity and it gives an overview of the objectives, the planned activities and the expected results.

Prof.Dr. Norbert Kroll
German Aerospace Center

Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology
, C²A²S²E Center for Computer Applications in AeroSpace Science and Engineering
Tel: +49 531 295-2440

Fax: +49 531 295-2914

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