Date of Award

Spring 1995

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Director

Arthur C. Taylor III

Committee Member

Perry A. Newman

Committee Member

Gene Hou

Committee Member

Surendra N. Tiwari


In this study which involves advanced fluid-flow codes, an incremental iterative formulation (also known as the "delta" or "correction" form), together with the well-known spatially split approximate-factorization algorithm, is presented for solving the large, sparse systems of linear equations that are associated with aerodynamic sensitivity analysis. For the smaller two dimensional problems, a direct method can be applied to solve these linear equations in either the standard or the incremental form, in which case the two are equivalent. However, iterative methods are needed for larger two-dimensional and three dimensional applications because direct methods require more computer memory than is currently available. Iterative methods for solving these equations in the standard form are generally unsatisfactory due to an ill-conditioned coefficient matrix; this problem is overcome when these equations are cast in the incremental form. The methodology is successfully implemented and tested using an upwind cell-centered finite-volume formulation applied in two dimensions to the thin-layer Navier-Stokes equations for external flow over an airfoil. In three dimensions this methodology is demonstrated with a marching-solution algorithm for the Euler equations to calculate supersonic flow over the High-Speed Civil Transport configuration (HSCT 24E). The sensitivity derivatives obtained with the incremental iterative method from a marching Euler code are used in a design-improvement study of the HSCT configuration that involves thickness, camber, and planform design variables.