Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) models are the primary numerical recourse to investigate complex engineering turbulent flows in industrial applications. However, to establish RANS models as reliable design tools, it is essential to provide estimates for the uncertainty in their predictions. In the recent past, an uncertainty estimation framework relying on eigenvalue and eigenvector perturbations to the modeled Reynolds stress tensor has been widely applied with satisfactory results. However, the methodology for the eigenvector perturbations is not well established. Evaluations using only eigenvalue perturbations do not provide comprehensive estimates of model form uncertainty, especially in flows with streamline curvature, recirculation, or flow separation. In this article, we outline a methodology for the eigenvector perturbations using a predictor-corrector approach, which uses the incipient eigenvalue perturbations along with the Reynolds stress transport equations to determine the eigenvector perturbations. This approach was applied to benchmark cases of complex turbulent flows. The uncertainty intervals estimated using the proposed framework exhibited substantial improvement over eigenvalue-only perturbations and are able to account for a significant proportion of the discrepancy between RANS predictions and high-fidelity data.

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Journal Physical Review Fluids
Thompson, R.L, Mishra, A.A, Iaccarino, G, Edeling, W.N, & Sampaio, L. (2019). Eigenvector perturbation methodology for uncertainty quantification of turbulence models. Physical Review Fluids, 4(4). doi:10.1103/PhysRevFluids.4.044603