Obtaining real flow information is important in various fields, but is a difficult issue because measurement data are usually limited in time and space, and computational results usually do not represent the exact state of real flows. Problems inherent in the realization of numerical simulation of real-world flows include the difficulty in representing exact initial and boundary conditions and the difficulty in representing unstable flow characteristics. This article reviews studies dealing with these problems. First, an overview of basic flow measurement methodologies and measurement data interpolation/approximation techniques is presented. Then, studies on methods of integrating numerical simulation and measurement, namely, four-dimensional variational data assimilation (4D-Var), Kalman filters (KFs), state observers, etc are discussed. The first problem is properly solved by these integration methodologies. The second problem can be partially solved with 4D-Var in which only initial and boundary conditions are control parameters. If an appropriate control parameter capable of modifying the dynamical structure of the model is included in the formulation of 4D-Var, unstable modes are properly suppressed and the second problem is solved. The state observer and KFs also solve the second problem by modifying mathematical models to stabilize the unstable modes of the original dynamical system by applying feedback signals. These integration methodologies are now applied in simulation of real-world flows in a wide variety of research fields. Examples are presented for basic fluid dynamics and applications in meteorology, aerospace, medicine, etc.
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