Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is widely used in vehicle aerodynamics development today, but typically used to study one vehicle shape at a time.
In order to be used for aerodynamic shape exploration and optimization the CFD simulation process has to be able to study a large set of design alternatives (vehicle shape variants) within the short period of time typically available in the overall aerodynamics development process.
This paper reports the development and testing of a process, referred to as the 50:50:50 Method, which is developed to study a large set of design alternatives in a highly automated way, while ensuring that each design alternative is simulated with a high fidelity CFD simulation.
The process leverages morphing, advanced CFD solver numerics, high performance computing, and process automaters to simulate 50 shape variants of a vehicle, with high fidelity CFD simulations that use a computational mesh of 50 million cells for simulating each design point, in a total elapsed time of 50 hours after initial case setup.
The development of this process and a test case with a realistic vehicle are reported.