Unlocking the Key to Accelerating Convergence in the Discrete Velocity Method for Flows in the near Continuous/Continuous Flow Regimes

Linchang Han, Liming Yang*, Zhihui Li*, Jie Wu, Yinjie Du, Xiang Shen

*Corresponding author for this work

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How to improve the computational efficiency of flow field simulations around irregular objects in near-continuum and continuum flow regimes has always been a challenge in the aerospace re-entry process. The discrete velocity method (DVM) is a commonly used algorithm for the discretized solutions of the Boltzmann-BGK model equation. However, the discretization of both physical and molecular velocity spaces in DVM can result in significant computational costs. This paper focuses on unlocking the key to accelerate the convergence in DVM calculations, thereby reducing the computational burden. Three versions of DVM are investigated: the semi-implicit DVM (DVM-I), fully implicit DVM (DVM-II), and fully implicit DVM with an inner iteration of the macroscopic governing equation (DVM-III). In order to achieve full implicit discretization of the collision term in the Boltzmann-BGK equation, it is necessary to solve the corresponding macroscopic governing equation in DVM-II and DVM-III. In DVM-III, an inner iterative process of the macroscopic governing equation is employed between two adjacent DVM steps, enabling a more accurate prediction of the equilibrium state for the full implicit discretization of the collision term. Fortunately, the computational cost of solving the macroscopic governing equation is significantly lower than that of the Boltzmann-BGK equation. This is primarily due to the smaller number of conservative variables in the macroscopic governing equation compared to the discrete velocity distribution functions in the Boltzmann-BGK equation. Our findings demonstrate that the fully implicit discretization of the collision term in the Boltzmann-BGK equation can accelerate DVM calculations by one order of magnitude in continuum and near-continuum flow regimes. Furthermore, the introduction of the inner iteration of the macroscopic governing equation provides an additional 1–2 orders of magnitude acceleration. Such advancements hold promise in providing a computational approach for simulating flows around irregular objects in near-space environments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1609
Number of pages28
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2023

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