Conference Paper

An Efficient Parallel Overset Method for Aerodynamic Shape Optimization


G. K. W. Kenway, N. Secco, J. R. R. A. Martins, A. Mishra, and K. Duraisamy


Proceedings of the 58th AIAA/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, AIAA SciTech Forum, 2017



Structured mesh computational fluid dynamic solvers are inherently faster than unstructured solvers, which is particularly advantageous for aerodynamic design optimization, where hundreds of flow solutions are required. However, generating body-fitted multiblock meshes for complex geometries is challenging and is a time consuming task. The overset mesh technique greatly reduces the manual effort required to generate meshes over complex geometries by overlapping a series of simpler meshes. However, generating the necessary connectivity information between meshes in a robust and computationally efficient manner remains a challenge. We address this challenge by developing an efficient parallel overset grid assembly technique based on implicit hole cutting that is fully automatic. The method is fully parallel and scales to hundreds of processors. Several optimizations of the Common Research Model wing-body-tail configuration are performed using the meshes generated by our technique. We compare the best drag reduction obtained from multiblock and overset meshes using two different artificial dissipation schemes. The smooth, highly orthogonal overset meshes produce better results than the multiblock meshes, by up to 3 drag counts. An application to rotorcraft design is also presented. The demonstrated meshing flexibility and accurate transonic solutions make the overset mesh technique ideally suited for aerodynamic shape optimization.