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Adaptive design of experiments for efficient and accurate estimation of aerodynamic loads

Andrea Da Ronch (Aeronautics, Astronautics and Computational Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Marco Panzeri (Noesis Solutions N.V., Leuven, Belgium)
M. Anas Abd Bari (Aeronautics, Astronautics and Computational Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
Roberto d’Ippolito (Noesis Solutions N.V., Leuven, Belgium)
Matteo Franciolini (Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale e Scienze Matematiche, Universitá Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 3 July 2017



The purpose of this paper is to document an efficient and accurate approach to generate aerodynamic tables using computational fluid dynamics. This is demonstrated in the context of a concept transport aircraft model.


Two designs of experiment algorithms in combination with surrogate modelling are investigated. An adaptive algorithm is compared to an industry-standard algorithm used as a benchmark. Numerical experiments are obtained solving the Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations on a large computational grid.


This study demonstrates that a surrogate model built upon an adaptive design of experiments strategy achieves a higher prediction capability than that built upon a traditional strategy. This is quantified in terms of the sum of the squared error between the surrogate model predictions and the computational fluid dynamics results. The error metric is reduced by about one order of magnitude compared to the traditional approach.

Practical implications

This work lays the ground to obtain more realistic aerodynamic predictions earlier in the aircraft design process at manageable costs, improving the design solution and reducing risks. This may be equally applied in the analysis of other complex and non-linear engineering phenomena.


This work explores the potential benefits of an adaptive design of experiment algorithm within a prototype working environment, whereby the maximum number of experiments is limited and a large parameter space is investigated.



The authors acknowledge the use of the IRIDIS High Performance Computing Facility, and associated support services at the University of Southampton, in the completion of this work. Andrea Da Ronch is also grateful for the financial support received from the Royal Academy of Engineering under the Industrial Secondments Scheme (ISS1415/7/44). The authors also acknowledge the contribution from the following people: Adam Jirasek of the USAF for providing the grid of the TCR model; Paolo Viviani and Riccardo Lombardi of Noesis Solutions N.V. for their help with the ADOE benchmarking tests; and Maximilien Landrain of Noesis Solutions N. V. and Elena Vataga of the University of Southampton for the deployment of Noesis Optimus on IRIDIS.


Da Ronch, A., Panzeri, M., Abd Bari, M.A., d’Ippolito, R. and Franciolini, M. (2017), "Adaptive design of experiments for efficient and accurate estimation of aerodynamic loads", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 89 No. 4, pp. 558-569.



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