Journal Article

Toward Automatic Parabolized Stability Equation-Based Transition-to-Turbulence Prediction for Aerodynamic Flows


G. L. O. Halila, K. Fidkowski, and J. R. R. A. Martins


AIAA Journal, 59(2):462–473, 2021



The inclusion of transition-to-turbulence effects in computational fluid dynamics simulations is essential to accurately predict drag reduction from the use of laminar flow technologies. The parabolized stability equation (PSE) method takes into account nonlocal and nonparallel effects on boundary-layer dynamics. Its computational cost compares to that of linear stability theory (LST) analysis, which does not account for these effects. However, difficulties related to the robustness of PSE have prevented its application to industrial cases, where the more straightforward LST approach has been adopted because of its relative ease of use. When using PSE with an eN transition method, it is necessary to determine the stability modes that trigger transition and their neutral points (NPs). A robust PSE-based transition framework is proposed that includes a boundary-layer solver, a database method, and an LST solver that provides the required stability modes and the corresponding NPs so that a robust PSE calculation is automatically performed. The current approach leverages an automatic framework for the application of PSE-based transition prediction to aerodynamic flow analysis.