Multi-Variable Sensitivity Technology for Enhancing Future Aircraft

Period of Performance: 04/10/1998 - 02/10/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aerosoft, Inc.
2000 Kraft Drive Suite 1400
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Principal Investigator


Recent advancements in both computational efficiency and physical-modeling capabilities have increased the utility of computational fluid dynamics in the vehicle-design process. However, beyond knowing the aerodynamic characteristics of a fixed configuration, the vehicle designer is interested in how to change the design to improve speed and maneuverability. Recent research into the sensitivity-equation approach has demonstrated the ability to efficiently predict flow tendencies and determine stability derivatives in the framework of a high-order aerodynamic optimization. The procedure numerically solves linear partial differential equations for the sensitivities themselves instead of differentiating the discretized fluid-dynamic equations. However, to date, no commercial software is available which solves these valuable and insightful equations for viscous, compressible, chemically reacting flow.We propose a stand-alone software package that solves the sensitivity equations with direct application to analysis of unconventional aircraft. The proposed sensitivity software can be used with any CFD flow solver: Commercial, public domain, or research-level.