A technique has been devised to increase the accuracy of computational simulations of flows of inviscid fluids by increasing the accuracy with which surface boundary conditions are represented. This technique is expected to be especially beneficial for computational aeroacoustics, wherein it enables proper accounting, not only for acoustic waves, but also for vorticity and entropy waves, at surfaces.

Heretofore, inviscid nonlinear surface boundary conditions have been limited to third-order accuracy in time for stationary surfaces and to first-order accuracy in time for moving surfaces. For steady-state calculations, it may be possible to achieve higher accuracy in space, but high accuracy in time is needed for efficient simulation of multiscale unsteady flow phenomena. The present technique is the first surface treatment that provides the needed high accuracy through proper accounting of higher-order time derivatives. The present technique is founded on a method known in art as the Hermitian modified solution approximation (MESA) scheme. This is because high time accuracy at a surface depends upon, among other things, correction of the spatial cross-derivatives of flow variables, and many of these cross-derivatives are included explicitly on the computational grid in the MESA scheme. (Alternatively, a related method other than the MESA scheme could be used, as long as the method involves consistent application of the effects of the cross-derivatives.)

While the mathematical derivation of the present technique is too lengthy and complex to fit within the space available for this article, the technique itself can be characterized in relatively simple terms: The technique involves correction of surface- normal spatial pressure derivatives at a boundary surface to satisfy the governing equations and the boundary conditions and thereby achieve arbitrarily high orders of time accuracy in special cases. The boundary conditions can now include a potentially infinite number of time derivatives of surface-normal velocity (consistent with no flow through the boundary) up to arbitrarily high order. The corrections for the first-order spatial derivatives of pressure are calculated by use of the first-order time derivative velocity. The corrected first-order spatial derivatives are used to calculate the second-order time derivatives of velocity, which, in turn, are used to calculate the corrections for the second-order pressure derivatives. The process as described is repeated, progressing through increasing orders of derivatives, until the desired accuracy is attained.

This work was done by Roger Dyson of Glenn Research Center and Ray Hixon of the Institute for Computational Mechanics in Propulsion.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to

NASA Glenn Research Center
Commercial Technology Office
Attn: Steve Fedor
Mail Stop 4-8
21000 Brookpark Road
Ohio 44135.

Refer to LEW-17500-1.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the May, 2004 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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