Multilevel error estimation and adaptive h-refinement for Cartesian meshes with embedded boundaries

M. J. Aftosmis, M. J. Berger

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper presents the development of a mesh adaptation module for a multilevel Cartesian solver. While the module allows mesh refinement to be driven by a variety of different refinement parameters, a central feature in its design is the incorporation of a multilevel error estimator based upon direct estimates of the local truncation error using τ-extrapolation. This error indicator exploits the fact that in regions of uniform Cartesian mesh, the spatial operator is exactly the same on the fine and coarse grids, and local truncation error estimates can be constructed by evaluating the residual on the coarse grid of the restricted solution from the fine grid. A new strategy for adaptive h-refinement is also developed to prevent errors in smooth regions of the flow from being masked by shocks and other discontinuous features. For certain classes of error histograms, this strategy is optimal for achieving equidistribution of the refinement parameters on hierarchical meshes, and therefore ensures grid converged solutions will be achieved for appropriately chosen refinement parameters. The robustness and accuracy of the adaptation module is demonstrated using both simple model problems and complex three dimensional examples using meshes with from 106 to 107 cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2002
Event40th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit 2002 - Reno, NV, United States
Duration: Jan 14 2002Jan 17 2002


Other40th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit 2002
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityReno, NV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Aerospace Engineering


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