A robust, high-order implicit shock tracking method for simulation of complex, high-speed flows

05/01/2021 ∙ by Tianci Huang, et al. ∙ 0

High-order implicit shock tracking is a new class of numerical methods to approximate solutions of conservation laws with non-smooth features. These methods align elements of the computational mesh with non-smooth features to represent them perfectly, allowing high-order basis functions to approximate smooth regions of the solution without the need for nonlinear stabilization, which leads to accurate approximations on traditionally coarse meshes. The hallmark of these methods is the underlying optimization formulation whose solution is a feature-aligned mesh and the corresponding high-order approximation to the flow; the key challenge is robustly solving the central optimization problem. In this work, we develop a robust optimization solver for high-order implicit shock tracking methods so they can be reliably used to simulate complex, high-speed, compressible flows in multiple dimensions. The proposed method integrates practical robustness measures into a sequential quadratic programming method, including dimension- and order-independent simplex element collapses, mesh smoothing, and element-wise solution re-initialization, which prove to be necessary to reliably track complex discontinuity surfaces, such as curved and reflecting shocks, shock formation, and shock-shock interaction. A series of nine numerical experiments – including two- and three-dimensional compressible flows with complex discontinuity surfaces – are used to demonstrate: 1) the robustness of the solver, 2) the meshes produced are high-quality and track continuous, non-smooth features in addition to discontinuities, 3) the method achieves the optimal convergence rate of the underlying discretization even for flows containing discontinuities, and 4) the method produces highly accurate solutions on extremely coarse meshes relative to approaches based on shock capturing.

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