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Inverse airfoil design using the Navier Stokes equations

The feasibility of the use of the Navier-Stokes equations in aerodynamic design is examined. The Navier-Stokes equations can include the rotational viscous physics at transonic speeds, and hence are expected to produce more reliable designs. The target pressure is specified and a least-squares optimization is used to minimize the pressure discrepancy between the target and designed airfoils. The sensitivity analysis which determines the response of the flow to a geometry perturbation is performed based on a finite-difference evaluation. The performance of the design method is evaluated with various design practices.