CFD in Aerospace America’s Year in Review

It’s that time again. The December issue of AIAA’s Aerospace America includes their annual Year in Review. This issue, authored by all of their technical committees provides a great roundup of the highlights of the previous year across the entire spectrum of aerospace-related technologies and is the only issue I keep, going all the way back to 1980.

I like to note where CFD gets cited and for what reasons. Here’s what I found for the 2015 issue.

Applied Aerodynamics

As a precursor to a next generation of helicopter rotor hover experiments (for the collection of data for CFD validation), CFD was used to simulate a rotor installed in the NASA Ames Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex.

The DoD’s HPCMP CREATE (Computational Research and Engineering Acquisition Tools and Environments) released several software updates during 2015: Kestrel 6.0 (CFD for aircraft), Helios 6.0 (CFD for rotorcraft), and DaVinci 3.0 (preliminary geometric design).

Atmospheric and Space Environments

Data collected and models developed from testing in the NASA Icing Research Tunnel will be used to validate CFD codes.

Fluid Dynamics

There is a rising interest in high order CFD methods and continued work on off-design and high-lift conditions.

A multi-year study was completed on how to teach CFD to undergraduates.

Meshing, Visualization, and Computational Environments

This technical committee took ownership of their technologies as cited in NASA CFD Vision 2030 Study (published in 2014). In particular, expert panel sessions were held to amplify on the nature of the impediments cited in the study and research in related areas was published and presented in technical sessions. One ultimate expression of assessing and monitoring the ongoing state of the art in these areas is a 1st AIAA Geometry and Mesh Generation Workshop, planned to be held in 2017.

Multidisciplinary Design Optimization

NASA released openMDAO version 1.0, a framework for performing design optimization. Other MDO environments are being developed at Wright State and Virginia Tech.

NASA Langley’s FUN3D CFD code is being modified to include adjoint-based aeroelastic sensitivities.

Plasmadynamics and Lasers

CFD investigated the unsteady nature of supersonic shock wave/boundary layer interaction and subsequent flow separation around laser director turrets.

Structural Dynamics

The Army’s Navier-Stokes solver is being coupled with new multi-body dynamic analysis models for first-principles kinematics and stresses for rotorcraft.


New, atomic-scale models of chemical reactions and energy transfer collisions have been developed for use in CFD codes and the modeling of hypersonic shock layers.


Use the comments to let me know if I missed anything. Happy reading.

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1 Response to CFD in Aerospace America’s Year in Review

  1. Pingback: A CFD Education for Undergraduates | Another Fine Mesh

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