Airfoil shape optimization using non-traditional optimization technique and its validation

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Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is one of the computer-based solution methods which is more widely employed in aerospace engineering. The computational power and time required to carry out the analysis increase as the fidelity of the analysis increases. Aerodynamic shape optimization has become a vital part of aircraft design in the recent years. Generally if we want to optimize an airfoil we have to describe the airfoil and for that, we need to have at least hundred points of x and y co-ordinates. It is really difficult to optimize airfoils with this large number of co-ordinates. Nowadays many different schemes of parameter sets are used to describe general airfoil such as B-spline, and PARSEC. The main goal of these parameterization schemes is to reduce the number of needed parameters as few as possible while controlling the important aerodynamic features effectively. Here the work has been done on the PARSEC geometry representation method. The objective of this work is to introduce the knowledge of describing general airfoil using twelve parameters by representing its shape as a polynomial function. And also we have introduced the concept of Genetic Algorithm to optimize the aerodynamic characteristics of a general airfoil for specific conditions. A MATLAB program has been developed to implement PARSEC, Panel Technique, and Genetic Algorithm. This program has been tested for a standard NACA 2411 airfoil and optimized to improve its coefficient of lift. Pressure distribution and co-efficient of lift for airfoil geometries have been calculated using the Panel method. The optimized airfoil has improved co-efficient of lift compared to the original one. The optimized airfoil is validated using wind tunnel data.




Mukesh, R., Lingadurai, K., & Selvakumar, U. (2014). Airfoil shape optimization using non-traditional optimization technique and its validation. Journal of King Saud University - Engineering Sciences, 26(2), 191–197.

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