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Effects of sensitivity derivatives on aerodynamic design optimization

The effects of sensitivity derivatives on the performance of aerodynamic design optimization were evaluated. Sensitivity derivatives were obtained by both analytical and finite-difference approaches. A sensitivity code was developed to analytically obtain sensitivity derivatives for the two-dimensional Euler equations using the material derivative concept of continuum mechanics. Several inverse design optimizations were performed to evaluate the merits of the analytical approach in comparison with the finite-difference approach. The results show that the analytical approach provides accurate sensitivity derivatives consistently, improves the convergence of the design cycle, and hence reduces the design cost.