Observations Regarding Algorithms Required for Robust CFD Codes
Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena
Over the last three decades Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has gradually joined the wind tunnel and flight test as a primary flow analysis tool for aerodynamic designers. CFD has had its most favorable impact on the aerodynamic design of the high-speed cruise configuration of a transport. This success has raised expectations among aerodynamicists that the applicability of CFD can be extended to the full flight envelope. However, the complex nature of the flows and geometries involved places
... ies involved places substantially increased demands on the solution methodology and resources required. Currently most simulations involve Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) codes although Large Eddy Simulation (LES) and Detached Eddy Suimulation (DES) codes are occasionally used for component analysis or theoretical studies. Despite simplified underlying assumptions, current RANS turbulence models have been spectacularly successful for analyzing attached, transonic flows. Whether or not these same models are applicable to complex flows with smooth surface separation is an open question. A prerequisite for answering this question is absolute confidence that the CFD codes employed reliably solve the continuous equations involved. Too often, failure to agree with experiment is mistakenly ascribed to the turbulence model rather than inadequate numerics. Grid convergence in three dimensions is rarely achieved. Even residual convergence on a given grid is often inadequate. This paper discusses issues involved in residual and especially grid convergence.