Application of Subdivision Surfaces to Aerodynamic Wing Shape Optimisation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

2 Citations (Scopus)


Subdivision surfaces, which generalise tensor-product splines to arbitrary topology, are
seeing increased interest in engineering applications. Significantly, the topological flexibility of such subdivision splines enables truly watertight parametric geometry. Previous work by the authors has performed progressive and adaptive shape optimisation using hierarchies of subdivision control fidelities. Such multilevel methods typically enable both global and local shape modifications to occur. In this paper, theory and preliminary results are presented for the application of subdivision surfaces to the aerodynamic optimisation of a modern transport wing. Spline-like control nets are generated from the discretised surface of the wing geometry and used as shape control within a gradient-based aerodynamic shape optimisation framework. A multiresolution formulation ensures that the exact surface is reproduced by the subdivision shape control while also allowing control at varying fidelity. Gradient-based optimisation is performed using an efficient SQP implementation along with an unstructured Euler solver where aerodynamic sensitivities are provided by discrete adjoint. The optimisation results show consistent reductions in both wave drag and induced drag while satisfying the aerodynamic constraints thereby demonstrating the effectiveness afforded by surface splines for shape optimisation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA paper 2019-3176, Proceedings AIAA AVIATION 2019, Dallas, TX, June 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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