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Accuracy and efficiency improvements in finite difference sensitivity calculations

Özhamam, Murat
Accuracy of the finite difference sensitivity calculations are improved by calculating the optimum finite difference interval sizes. In an aerodynamic inverse design algorithm, a compressor cascade geometry is perturbed by shape functions and finite differences sensitivity derivatives of the flow variables are calculated with respect to the base geometry flow variables. Sensitivity derivatives are used in an optimization code and a new airfoil is designed verifying given design characteristics. Accurate sensitivities are needed for optimization process. In order to find the optimum finite difference interval size, a method is investigated. Convergence error estimation techniques in iterative solutions and second derivative estimations are investigated to facilitate this method. For validation of the method, analytical sensitivity calculations of Euler equations are used and several applications are performed. Efficiency of the finite difference sensitivity calculations is improved by parallel computing. Finite difference sensitivity calculations are independent tasks in an inverse aerodynamic design algorithm and can be computed separately. Sensitivity calculations are performed on parallel processors and computing time is decreased.