Progress And Challenges On The CFD Vision 2030 Roadmap

An assessment of efforts to apply computational fluid dynamics to aerospace applications of increasing complexity.


After a long writing (and longer editing and approval seeking) process, the AIAA’s CFD Vision 2030 Integration Committee has published its first update to the Vision’s roadmap. This 71 page, thoroughly cited report assesses progress toward the Vision during 2020 and also provides a 5-year look-back. It covers the six domains along which the vision assesses progress in CFD: high performance computing, physical modeling, algorithms, geometry modeling and mesh generation, knowledge extraction, and multidisciplinary design and optimization.

Here’s the report’s abstract.

The CFD Vision 2030 Study contracted by NASA was published in 2014 and has become an aspirational objective for focusing CFD development areas toward aerospace applications. This Roadmap identified the six main technical domains for aligning research as high performance computing (HPC), physical modeling, algorithms, geometry and grid generation, knowledge extraction, and multidisciplinary analysis and optimization (MDAO), with subtopics within each of these maturing from 2015 to 2030. These maturing technologies target the application of CFD to aerospace applications of increasing complexity through 2030. Development of these techniques is fundamental to the successful execution of a series of grand challenge problems. The grand challenge problems are a stepping stone to routine application of CFD to an array of design and development problems with significantly expanded scope and complexity.

Recognizing the ongoing utility of the Roadmap toward improving CFD technology, AIAA formed an Integration Committee around this vision. One of the charters of this committee is to maintain recognition of the Roadmap and highlight the ongoing aerospace CFD research needs. Shortly after a 2019 Aviation session reviewed the status of the Roadmap, a team was formed to provide a more detailed technical review of the Roadmap and identify progress with (and challenges to) following the outlined trajectory. This Report presents a summary of the developments through 2020 related to the technical elements in the Roadmap. While this Report cannot be exhaustive and surely some elements have been omitted, it includes inputs from a group of experts with extensive background in the diverse disciplines represented in the Study. In addition to the authors, other key contributors are acknowledged at the end of the document. Overall, significant progress has been made toward the Vision, but many areas are behind the schedule forecast in the original Study. Several elements and technologies that influence the Roadmap have emerged in the last five years, such as machine learning for turbulence modeling. Relevant technologies that were not included in the original version have been identified. Each of the six domains are reviewed in detail, both for 2020 accomplishments and for overall progress on the milestones identified in the Study.

You can download your copy of this report (PDF format, freely available, no registration required) from the website:

Work on the 2021 report is already underway. The plan is to do a major report with 5-year perspective every five years and briefer 1-year reports in the other years.

If you’re interested in contributing to future editions of this report, there’s information on how to volunteer at

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