Aerodynamic data fusion toward the digital twin paradigm

S. Ashwin Renganathan, Kohei Harada, Dimitri N. Mavris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This paper considers the fusion of two aerodynamic data sets originating from differing types of physical or computer experiments. This paper specifically addresses the fusion of 1) noisy and in-complete fields from wind-tunnel measurements and 2) deterministic but biased fields from numerical simulations. These two data sources are fused in order to estimate the true field that best matches measured quantities that serve as the ground truth. For example, two sources of pressure fields about an aircraft are fused based on measured forces and moments from a wind-tunnel experiment. A fundamental challenge in this problem is that the true field is unknown and cannot be estimated with 100% certainty. A Bayesian framework is employed to infer the true fields conditioned on measured quantities of interest; essentially a statistical correction to the data is performed. The fused data may then be used to construct more accurate surrogate models suitable for early stages of aerospace design. An extension of the proper orthogonal decomposition with constraints is also introduced to solve the same problem. Both methods are demonstrated on fusing the pressure distributions for flow past the RAE2822 airfoil and the Common Research Model wing at transonic conditions. Comparison of both methods reveals that the Bayesian method is more robust when data are scarce and capable of also accounting for uncertainties in the data. Furthermore, given adequate data, the proper-orthogonal-decomposition-based and Bayesian approaches lead to surprisingly similar results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3902-3918
Number of pages17
JournalAIAA journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


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