Thursday, February 6, 2014

TPS Sizing with Complex Step Method

TPS Sizing Optimization Using Complex Variable Differentiation Sensitivity
I stumbled upon an interesting old presentation that shows a neat application of the complex step method of calculating numerical derivatives for use in optimizing thermal protection system (TPS) thickness. The great thing about the method is that it is minimally intrusive.

As long as you can change the reals in your old analysis code to be complex data types, then you can run it as you normally would except with a small imaginary perturbation to give the derivative. This is often a much more tractable approach than deriving an adjoint for a legacy code. 
Development of an Optimization Procedure for TPS Sizing

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