Geometry Representation Effectiveness in Improving Airfoil Aerodynamic Coefficient Prediction with Convolutional Neural Network

Arizal Zikri - Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia
Hanni Defianti - National Research and Innovation Agency, Bogor, Indonesia
Wahyu Hidayat - Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia
Acep Purqon - Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia

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Many applications use symmetric or asymmetric airfoils, such as aircraft design, wind turbines, and heat transfer. Each airfoil has different aerodynamic coefficients. Obtaining the aerodynamic coefficients is a must to optimize the airfoil design. Engineers use various methods to get the airfoil aerodynamic coefficients. A prediction method is an approximation approach that effectively reduces time and cost. This article uses convolutional neural networks (CNN) to get approximation values of those coefficients. In CNN, we collect 8920 aerodynamic coefficients for 223 NACA 4 as labels in datasets by using XFOIL at  and  with varying angles of attacks starting  to  with increment of . The simulation results are compared to the experiment using E387 airfoil for validation. Then, airfoil geometries as part of input datasets were transformed into Grayscale and RGB images using the signed distance function (SDF) and mesh algorithm. Each airfoil representation was trained using an 80% dataset and tested using a 20% dataset with Adam as an optimizer to generate each prediction model using modified LeNet-5. We use three different layer depths in modified LeNet-5 to obtain the optimal layer number. There is no remarkable improvement when varying the depth layers, so four layers are used instead. Simulation results show that using an SDF with Fast Marching Method on CNN predicts the most effective for the airfoil’s lift, drag, and pitch moment coefficient with varying angles of attack simultaneously. One can extend the method by using SDF to recognize different flow conditions.


deep neural network; CNN; airfoil; aerodynamic coefficient; prediction

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