Automation of Vehicle Aerodynamic Shape Exploration and Optimization using Integrated Mesh Morphing and CFD 2011-01-0170
Thorough design exploration is essential for improving vehicle performance in various aspects such as aerodynamic drag. Shape optimization algorithms in combination with computational tools such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) play an important role in design exploration. The present work describes a Free-Form Deformation (FFD) approach implemented within a general purpose CFD code for parameterization and modification of the aerodynamic shape of real-life vehicle models. Various vehicle shape parameters are constructed and utilized to change the shape of a vehicle using a mesh morphing technique based on the FFD algorithm. Based on input and output parameters, a design of experiments (DOE) matrix is created. CFD simulations are run and a response surface is constructed to study the sensitivity of the output parameter (aerodynamic drag) to variations in each input parameter. The DOE is coupled with an optimizer to achieve a combination of input parameters that yields the least drag. The entire process is setup in a single framework and runs automatically.