Space-Time accurate anisotropic adaptation and stabilized finite element methods for the resolution of unsteady CFD problems

Abstract : Nowadays, with the increase in computational power, numerical modeling has become an intrinsic tool for predicting physical phenomena and developing engineering designs. The modeling of these phenomena poses scientific complexities the resolution of which requires considerable computational resources and long lasting calculations.In this thesis, we are interested in the resolution of complex long time and large scale heat transfer and fluid flow problems. When the physical phenomena exhibit sharp anisotropic features, a good level of accuracy requires a high mesh resolution, hence hindering the efficiency of the simulation. Therefore a compromise between accuracy and efficiency shall be adopted. The development of space and time adaptive adaptation techniques was motivated by the desire to devise realistic configurations and to limit the shortcomings of the traditional non-adaptive resolutions in terms of lack of solution's accuracy and computational efficiency. Indeed, the resolution of unsteady problems with multi-scale features on a prescribed uniform mesh with a limited number of degrees of freedom often fails to capture the fine scale physical features, have excessive computational cost and might produce incorrect results. These difficulties brought forth investigations towards generating meshes with local refinements where higher resolution was needed. Space and time adaptations can thus be regarded as essential ingredients in this recipe.The approach followed in this work consists in applying stabilized finite element methods and the development of space and time adaptive tools to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of the numerical simulations.The derivation process starts with an edge-based error estimation for locating the regions, in the computational domain, presenting sharp gradients, inner and boundary layers. This is followed by the construction of nodal metric tensors that prescribe, at each node in the spatial mesh, mesh sizes and the directions along which these sizes are to be imposed. In order to improve the efficiency of computations, this construction takes into account a fixed number of nodes and generates an optimal distribution and orientation of the mesh elements. The approach is extended to a space-time adaptation framework, whereby optimal meshes and time-step sizes for slabs of time are constructed in the view of controlling the global interpolation error over the computation domain.
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Ghina El Jannoun. Space-Time accurate anisotropic adaptation and stabilized finite element methods for the resolution of unsteady CFD problems. Mechanics of the fluids [physics.class-ph]. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014ENMP0077⟩. ⟨tel-01146245⟩

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