Aerodynamic Sensitivity of a Novel Data-Driven Airfoil Shape Representation Framework

Olga Doronina, Bumseok Lee, Zachary Grey, Andrew Glaws

Research output: NRELPoster


We explore the aerodynamic implications of a novel data-driven separable shape tensor framework used to represent discrete airfoil shapes. In this study, we construct a data-driven parameter space defined by separable shape tensors and informed by tens of thousands of distinct airfoils. We use this design space to generate new airfoil designs to study parametric sensitivities with respect to various aerodynamic responses. We use a HAM2D RANS solver to approximate the lift, drag, and moment coefficients for the generated airfoils at two different angles-of-attack. We analyze the robustness and sensitivities of using the separable shape tensor design space by examining the coverage of the aerodynamic response space, uncovering low-dimensional polynomial ridge approximations, and computing various sensitivity metrics. The results show that the data-driven design space produce significant variation in target aerodynamic quantities and facilitate highly accurate approximations (R^2 > 0.96) of one- and two-dimensional structures in each aerodynamic response. This further reduces the effective dimension to enable simplified design and optimization tasks.
Original languageAmerican English
PublisherNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the North American Wind Energy Academy (NAWEA)/WindTech 2023 Conference, 30 October - 1 November 2023, Denver, Colorado

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-2C00-87237


  • aerodynamics
  • airfoil shape representation
  • sensitivity analysis


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