Journal of Mathematical Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 85–107 | Cite as

Adaptive Boundary Conditions for Exterior Flow Problems

  • Sebastian BönischEmail author
  • Vincent Heuveline
  • Peter Wittwer
Original Paper


We consider the problem of solving numerically the stationary incompressible Navier–Stokes equations in an exterior domain in two dimensions. This corresponds to studying the stationary fluid flow past a body. The necessity to truncate for numerical purposes the infinite exterior domain to a finite domain leads to the problem of finding appropriate boundary conditions on the surface of the truncated domain. We solve this problem by providing a vector field describing the leading asymptotic behavior of the solution. This vector field is given in the form of an explicit expression depending on a real parameter. We show that this parameter can be determined from the total drag exerted on the body. Using this fact we set up a self-consistent numerical scheme that determines the parameter, and hence the boundary conditions and the drag, as part of the solution process. We compare the values of the drag obtained with our adaptive scheme with the results from using traditional constant boundary conditions. Computational times are typically reduced by several orders of magnitude.

Mathematics Subject Classification (2000).

35Q30 76D25 65N99 


Navier–Stokes boundary conditions computational fluid dynamics 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Bönisch
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vincent Heuveline
    • 1
  • Peter Wittwer
    • 2
  1. 1.Numerical Analysis group, IWRUniversity of HeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Département de Physique ThéoriqueUniversité de GenèveSwitzerland

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