Airfoil GAN: Encoding and Synthesizing Airfoils forAerodynamic-aware Shape Optimization
The current design of aerodynamic shapes, like airfoils, involves computationally intensive simulations to explore the possible design space. Usually, such design relies on the prior definition of design parameters and places restrictions on synthesizing novel shapes. In this work, we propose a data-driven shape encoding and generating method, which automatically learns representations from existing airfoils and uses the learned representations to generate new airfoils. The representations are
... hen used in the optimization of synthesized airfoil shapes based on their aerodynamic performance. Our model is built upon VAEGAN, a neural network that combines Variational Autoencoder with Generative Adversarial Network and is trained by the gradient-based technique. Our model can (1) encode the existing airfoil into a latent vector and reconstruct the airfoil from that, (2) generate novel airfoils by randomly sampling the latent vectors and mapping the vectors to the airfoil coordinate domain, and (3) synthesize airfoils with desired aerodynamic properties by optimizing learned features via a genetic algorithm. Our experiments show that the learned features encode shape information thoroughly and comprehensively without predefined design parameters. By interpolating/extrapolating feature vectors or sampling from Gaussian noises, the model can automatically synthesize novel airfoil shapes, some of which possess competitive or even better aerodynamic properties comparing with training airfoils. By optimizing shape on learned features via a genetic algorithm, synthesized airfoils can evolve to have specific aerodynamic properties, which can guide designing aerodynamic products effectively and efficiently.