Use of Grand Challenge Problems to Assess Progress Toward the CFD Vision 2030

Join the AIAA’s CFD 2030 Integration Committee at SciTech 2021 this coming January for four invited talks and an extended Q&A session on formulation of grand challenge problems that would provide a basis for assessing progress toward the CFD Vision 2030.

By now I hope everyone engaged in CFD has read NASA’s CFD Vision 2030 Study. It defines the practice of CFD in the year 2030 as follows.

A single engineer/scientist must be able to conceive, create, analyze, and interpret a large ensemble of related simulations in a time-critical period (e.g., 24 hours), without individually managing each simulation, to a pre-specified level of accuracy.

CFD 2030 Vision Study, page 6

The Study, written in 2014, also proposed grand challenge (GC) problems as drivers to identify critical technology. Those GCs were

  • LES of powered aircraft configuration across the full flight envelope
  • Off-design turbofan engine transient simulation
  • MDAO of a highly-flexible advanced aircraft configuration
  • Probabilistic analysis of a powered space access configuration

Summer 2020 Update on Grand Challenges

Six years into the vision’s timeline and with only a decade remaining until 2030, a panel discussion was held at AIAA Aviation 2020 to begin a community effort to evolve the original GCs into something actionable and valuable.

For PDFs of the slides used during the panel discussion, visit

January 2021 Grand Challenge Details

The next step in defining grand challenge problems will happen at AIAA SciTech 2021 in January during a special session of invited technical papers and discussion to bring these GC ideas to maturity. From the conference program

The CFD 2030 Integration Committee will hold a special session of invited talks for “Defining Grand Challenge Problems for the CFD 2030 Vision.” The CFD 2030 Vision report laid out a bold vision for future computational capabilities and their potential impact on aerospace engineering and design. In the report, a series of four Grand Challenge (GC) problems were suggested in order to demonstrate the potential impact that advanced computational capabilities will have on aerospace engineering. In this session, more detailed formulations of a small number of GC problems will be proposed by experts in the field. Additionally, the potential of these GC problems in advancing the state-of-the-art as well as for serving as a benchmark of technological progress will be discussed.

The technical presentations currently planned are

  • A Grand Challenge for the Advancement of Numerical Prediction of High Lift Aerodynamics
  • Vision 2030 Aircraft Propulsion Grand Challenge Problem: Full-Engine CFD Simulations with High Geometric Fidelity and Physics Accuracy
  • CFD 2030 Grand Challenge: CFD-in-the-Loop Monte Carlo Flight Simulation for Space Vehicle Design
  • A Grand Challenge for the Advancement of Numerical Prediction of Hypersonic System Performance

The CFD 2030 Integration Committee invites you to join us for what is certain to be a valuable and lively. Online registration for SciTech will begin in October.

Visit for more information on the CFD Vision 2030.

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