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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8092824, 15 pages
Research Article

Proper Orthogonal Decomposition as Surrogate Model for Aerodynamic Optimization

DIMEAS, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy

Received 18 December 2015; Revised 9 June 2016; Accepted 26 June 2016

Academic Editor: Ratneshwar Jha

Copyright © 2016 Valentina Dolci and Renzo Arina. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A surrogate model based on the proper orthogonal decomposition is developed in order to enable fast and reliable evaluations of aerodynamic fields. The proposed method is applied to subsonic turbulent flows and the proper orthogonal decomposition is based on an ensemble of high-fidelity computations. For the construction of the ensemble, fractional and full factorial planes together with central composite design-of-experiment strategies are applied. For the continuous representation of the projection coefficients in the parameter space, response surface methods are employed. Three case studies are presented. In the first case, the boundary shape of the problem is deformed and the flow past a backward facing step with variable step slope is studied. In the second case, a two-dimensional flow past a NACA 0012 airfoil is considered and the surrogate model is constructed in the (Mach, angle of attack) parameter space. In the last case, the aerodynamic optimization of an automotive shape is considered. The results demonstrate how a reduced-order model based on the proper orthogonal decomposition applied to a small number of high-fidelity solutions can be used to generate aerodynamic data with good accuracy at a low cost.