High-fidelity aerodynamic analysis in the MDOlab is done using ADflow. ADflow is a finite-volume CFD solver for cell-centered multiblock and overset meshes. ADflow solves the compressible Euler, laminar Navier–Stokes, and RANS equations with a second-order accurate spatial discretization. More information on ADflow can be found somewhere (needs link).
In order to analyze a geometry with ADflow, we need to take the following steps:
- Obtain a CAD representation of the geometry
In practice, we want an IGES file that contains the geometry description. This can be done with any commercial CAD package, but it can also be done by lofting airfoil sections using pyGeo.
- Generate a valid multiblock or overset mesh
ADflow uses the CGNS mesh format. In practice, we create a surface mesh using ICEM and then extrude a volume mesh using pyHyp. However, the volume mesh could be created in ICEM or any other meshing software. Component volume meshes can be combined using cgnsUtilities.
- Analyze the flow with ADflow
Since ADflow is a script-based software, it is important to understand the elements of an ADflow runscript. Additionally, there are many settings that can be adjusted to make ADflow perform better for a given case.