Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Zhi J. Wang


The spectral volume (SV) and the spectral difference (SD) methods were developed by Wang and Liu and their collaborators for conservation laws on unstructured grids. They were introduced to achieve high-order accuracy in an efficient manner. Recently, these methods were extended to three-dimensional systems and to the Navier Stokes equations. The simplicity and robustness of these methods have made them competitive against other higher order methods such as the discontinuous Galerkin and residual distribution methods.

Although explicit TVD Runge-Kutta schemes for the temporal advancement are easy to implement, they suffer from small time step limited by the Courant-Friedrichs-Lewy (CFL) condition. When the polynomial order is high or when the grid is stretched due to complex geometries or boundary layers, the convergence rate of explicit schemes slows down rapidly. Solution strategies to remedy this problem include implicit methods and multigrid methods. A novel implicit lower-upper symmetric Gauss-Seidel (LU-SGS) relaxation method is employed as an iterative smoother. It is compared to the explicit TVD Runge-Kutta smoothers. For some p-multigrid calculations, combining implicit and explicit smoothers for different p-levels is also studied. The multigrid method considered is nonlinear and uses Full Approximation Scheme (FAS). An overall speed-up factor of up to 150 is obtained using a three-level p-multigrid LU-SGS approach in comparison with the single level explicit method for the Euler equations for the 3rd order SD method.

A study of viscous flux formulations was carried out for the SV method. Three formulations were used to discretize the viscous fluxes: local discontinuous Galerkin (LDG), a penalty method and the 2nd method of Bassi and Rebay. Fourier analysis revealed some interesting advantages for the penalty method. These were implemented in the Navier Stokes solver. An implicit and p-multigrid method was also implemented for the above. An overall speed-up factor of up to 1500 is obtained using a three-level p-multigrid LU-SGS approach in comparison with the single level explicit method for the Navier-Stokes equations. The SV method was also extended to turbulent flows. The RANS based SA model was used to close the Reynolds stresses. The numerical results are very promising and indicate that the approaches have great potentials for 3D flow problems.

Copyright Owner

Ravishekar Kannan



Date Available


File Format


File Size

137 pages