Hybrid computational-fluid-dynamics platform to investigate aircraft trailing vortices

Donovan M. Changfoot, Arnaud G. Malan, Jan Nordström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper outlines the development of a parallel three-dimensional hybrid finite volume finite difference capability. The specific application area under consideration is modeling the trailing vortices shed from the wings of aircraft under transonic flight conditions. For this purpose, the Elemental finite volume code is employed in the vicinity of the aircraft, whereas the ESSENSE finite difference software is employed to accurately resolve the trailing vortices. The former method is spatially formally second-order, and the latter is set to sixth-order accuracy. The coupling of the two methods is achieved in a stable manner through the use of summation-by-parts operators and weak imposition of boundary conditions using simultaneous approximation terms. The developed hybrid solver is successfully validated against an analytical test case. This is followed by demonstrating the ability to model the flowfield, including trailing vortex structures, around the NASA Common Research Model under transonic flow conditions. The interface treatment is shown to describe the intersecting vortices in a smooth manner. In addition, insights gained in resolving the vortices include violation of underlying assumptions of analytical vortex modeling methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-355
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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