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Efficient Computational Methods for Active Flow Control Using Adjoint Sensitivities


Active Flow Control (AFC) mechanisms have tremendous potential in improving flow characteristics in a wide variety of sectors. For effective AFC design, it is essential to determine the sensitivity of each of the control parameters to the flow property of interest. Adjoint methods provide the sensitivity of the objective function to any number of input parameters at a reasonable additional cost. They are based on simple RANS turbulence modelling, which captures poorly the physics of flow especially in the presence of complex flow features such as flow separation, which can be effectively eliminated by flow control. Recently developed Reynolds Stress Models (RSM) display significant improvement in the flow prediction capacity as compared to conventional RANS models, yet adjoints with RSM are not yet available. An alternative for accurate flow prediction is Large Eddy Simulation (LES). Unfortunately resolving the chaotic turbulent motion results in exponential growth of the gradients.

Our first objective is to develop an effective discrete adjoint method with an accurate and stable RSM, and compute sensitivities in complex flows involving active control mechanism applied to realistic wing geometries. Although RSM outperforms conventional turbulence models in a host of applications, there is a need for further physics-based calibration for specific flows. Our second objective is to use the adjoint method to drive the model coefficients to their optimum value such that the model results match with high-fidelity simulation data yielding a better turbulence model, which can be applied for effective flow control design in bluff body with severe rear flow separation. Our third objective will be to develop adjoint approaches for chaotic LES flows using the hosting groups' innovative gappy checkpointing approach that retains the accuracy of the LES but regularises the chaotic motion for the reverse adjoint pass, hence avoiding the exponential blowup of the sensitivities.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/mathematics/pure mathematics/geometry

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF


327 Mile End Road
E1 4NS London
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 224 933,76