The design and development of high-performance, efficient, and sustainable aircraft for a wide range of applications requires a fundamental understanding of the underlying aerodynamic principles. For instance, the aerodynamic phenomena that govern micro air vehicles (MAVs) flight are drastically different from that of a fixed-wing aircraft flying at transonic speeds. While high fidelity CFD and experimental methods can help unravel the physics, for design purposes, robust and efficient tools are required. The seminar would focus on the foundational studies we conducted to understand the aerodynamic principles related to two applications operating in different flight regimes and how the knowledge gained is integrated into aircraft design.
- Large gust encounters for UAM: Wing response to large transverse gusts has become an active area of research, driven by the demand for both manned and unmanned air vehicles including urban air mobility (UAM) applications. Because of their relatively small size, these vehicles are more likely to respond adversely to large gust disturbances during flight. They operate at relatively lower Reynolds numbers where the effects of viscosity could be significant, and control models and design optimization rely strongly on how accurately the aerodynamic forces during wing–gust interactions can be predicted. The key research questions we are trying to answer are: Can the classical unsteady theory (mainly Kussner-based) capture the wing aero response during larger traverse gust encounters? And how can wing-gust interaction be modeled efficiently?
- LFC for green aviation: Future energy-efficient aircraft require a drastic reduction in drag. The flow on a state-of-the-art commercial airplane wing is turbulent. The laminar flow control (LFC) technique offers large potential for drag reduction. LFC is an active boundary-layer control, usually by utilizing wall suction to retain laminar flow and delay transition from laminar-to-turbulent flow. LFC technique can be employed on the lifting and non-lifting surfaces (i.e., wing, fin, and fuselage) resulting in reduced skin-friction drag. Our current research focuses on optimizing a wing for LFC application and investigating how to integrate the LFC technology into the overall aircraft design.