Flying Shape Sails Analysis by Radial Basis Functions Mesh Morphing

  • Michele CalìEmail author
  • Domenico Speranza
  • Ubaldo Cella
  • Marco Evangelos Biancolini
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


High fidelity calculation tools are well established in the nautical design sector where advanced numerical simulations are adopted for the prediction of the interaction of boat parts with surrounding fluids. The capability to couple such tools with efficient shape parametrization procedures offers the possibility to further improve the performance speeding up the design process. Radial Basis Functions (RBF) Mesh Morphing (MM) allows to quickly modify the shape within numerical domains without the need of updating the underlying CAD representation. The validity of this approach, widely adopted in aeronautical and automotive fields, is demonstrated in this paper by applying the method to the analysis of the flying shape of a symmetric spinnaker also investigating the importance of panel arrangement on sail characteristics. The performance, in terms of drive and side forces, is evaluated for different morphed geometries by RANS (Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes) analyses. The RBF setup proved to be efficient and robust in generating a good quality of the morphed domain within the full range of amplification from the undeformed to the flying shape geometry.


Geometric parametrization Mesh morphing Symmetric spinnaker Radial basis functions Drive and side force RANS analysis 


Funding Statement

This research was supported by a benefit obtained with the found for the athenaeum research in Catania, research programme 2019/2021.


  1. 1.
    Braun, J.B., Imas, L.: High fidelity CFD simulations in racing yacht aerodynamic analysis. In: Proceedings of the 3rd High Performance Yacht Design Conference, Auckland, pp. 168–175 (2008)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Manikandan, A., Rajkumar, R.: Evaluation of mechanical properties of synthetic fiber reinforced polymer composites by mixture design analysis. Polym. Polym. Compos. 24(7), 455–462 (2016)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Pearson, W.E.: Textiles to composites: 3D moulding and automated fibre placement for flexible membranes. Mar. Appl. Adv. Fibre Reinf. Compos. 305, 305–334 (2015)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Richter, H.J., Horrigan, K.C., Braun, J.B. Computational fluid dynamics for downwind sails. In: Proceedings of 16th Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium, Annapolis, pp. 19–28 (2003)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ranzenbach, R., Kleene, J.: Utility of flying shapes in the development of offwind sail design database. In: The High Performance Yacht Design Conference, Auckland (2002)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Renzsch, H., Graf, K.: An experimental validation case for fluid-structure interaction simulations of downwind sails. In: Proceedings of the 21st Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium, Annapolis, p. 8 (2013)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fossati, F., Bayati, I., Orlandini, F., Muggiasca, S., Vandone, A., Mainetti, G., Sala, R., Bertorello, C., Begovic, E.: A novel full scale laboratory for yacht engineering research. Ocean Eng. 104, 219–237 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hochkirch, K.: Design and construction of a full-scale measurement system for the analysis of sailing performance. Technical University of Berlin, Ph.D. thesis (2000)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Le Pelley, D.J., Modral, O.: VSPARS: a combined sail and rig shape recognition system using imaging techniques. In: Proceedings of 3rd High Performance Yacht Design Conference, Auckland, pp. 57–66 (2008)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Graves, W., Barbera, T., Braun, J.B., Imas, L.: Measurement and simulation of pressure distribution on full size sails. In: 3rd High Performance Yacht Design Conference, Auckland, vol. 2, p. 4 (2008)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Augier, B., Bot, P., Hauville, F., Durand, M.: Experimental validation of unsteady models for fluid structure interaction: application to yacht sails and rigs. J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn. 101, 53–66 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Le Pelley, D.J., Morris, D., Richards, P.J.: Aerodynamic force deduction on yacht sails using pressure and shape measurement in real time. In: 4th High Performance Yacht Design Conference, Auckland, pp. 28–37 (2012)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Motta, D., Flay, R.G.J., Richards, P.J., Le Pelley, D.J., Deparday, J., Bot, P.: Experimental investigation of asymmetric spinnaker aerodynamics using pressure and sail shape measurements. Ocean Eng. 90, 104–118 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Viola, I.M., Biancolini, M.E., Sacher, M., Cella, U.: A CFD–based wing sail optimization method coupled to a VPP. In: 5th High Performance Yacht Design International Conference, 8–12 March 2015, Auckland (2015)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Groth, C., Cella, U., Costa, E., Biancolini, M.E.: Fast high fidelity CFD/CSM fluid structure interaction using RBF mesh morphing and modal superposition method. Aircr. Eng. Aerosp. Technol. J. (2019).
  16. 16.
    Biancolini, M.E., Cella, U., Groth, C., Genta, M.: Static aeroelastic analysis of an aircraft wind-tunnel model by means of modal RBF mesh updating. ASCE’s J. Aerosp. Eng. 29(6) (2016).
  17. 17.
    Biancolini, M.E., Cella, U., Clarich, A., Franchini, F.: Multi-objective optimization of A-Class Catamaran foils adopting a geometric parameterization based on RBF mesh morphing. In: Evolutionary and Deterministic Methods for Design Optimization and Control With Applications to Industrial and Societal Problems. Computational Methods in Applied Sciences Series, vol. 49, Springer (2018).
  18. 18.
    Cella, U., Groth, C., Biancolini, M.E.: Geometric parameterization strategies for shape optimization using RBF mesh morphing. In: Advances on Mechanics, Design Engineering and Manufacturing. Lecture Notes series in Mechanical Engineering, pp 537–545 (2016).
  19. 19.
    Biancolini, M.E., Viola, I.M, Riotte, M.: Sails trim optimisation using CFD and RBF mesh morphing. Comput. Fluids 93C, 46–60 (2014)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Biancolini, M.E.: Fast Radial Basis Functions for Engineering Applications. Springer International Publishing (2018)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Calì, M., Oliveri, S.M., Cella, U., Martorelli, M., Gloria, A., Speranza, D.: Mechanical characterization and modeling of downwind sailcloth in fluid-structure interaction analysis. Ocean Eng. 165, 488–504 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Calì, M., Oliveri, S.M., Gloria, A., Martorelli, M., Speranza, D.: Comparison of commonly used sail cloths through photogrammetric acquisitions, experimental tests and numerical aerodynamic simulations. Procedia Manuf. 11, 1651–1658 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Calì, M., Speranza, D., Martorelli, M.: Dynamic spinnaker performance through digital photogrammetry, numerical analysis and experimental tests. In: Advances on Mechanics, Design Engineering and Manufacturing. Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, pp. 585–595 (2017)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Arcaro, V.F.: Analysis of orthotropic membrane structures, UNICAMP/FEC (2004).
  25. 25.
    Renzsch, H., Müller, O., Graf, K.: FLEXSAIL–a fluid structure interaction program for the investigation of spinnakers. In: Proceedings of International Conference on Innovations in High Performance Sailing Yachts, Lorient (2008)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cella, U.: Setup and validation of high fidelity aeroelastic analysis methods based on RBF mesh morphing, Ph.D. thesis, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electric, Electronics and Computer EngineeringUniversity of CataniaCataniaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Cassino and Southern LazioCassinoItaly
  3. 3.Department of Enterprise Engineering “Mario Lucertini”University of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly

Personalised recommendations