Aerodynamics and Propulsion

Research in Aerodynamics and Propulsion at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering includes experimental and theoretical investigations in areas such as high speed jet flows, aero acoustics, turbo machinery, and gas turbine combustion.

Research on high-speed jet flow employs advanced laser diagnostics to understand the Flow Physics at these high Mach numbers, especially with respect to noise generation. The results contribute toward development of active feedback control for noise reduction in systems, such as jet engines. Theoretical work in this area involves the application of tools, such as Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) and the Wavelet Theory of turbulence, to identify characteristic flow structures and the mechanism by which they contribute to noise generation. The work on high-speed jet is expanding to include combustion aero acoustics, where we seek to understand through experiments and wave analysis, the generation and possible control of noise in turbulent flames.

Other areas of research involve the investigation of the flow dynamics of biological systems, such swimming fish, as inspiration for the design of more efficient propulsion system. Research in micro-propulsion explores the use of thermal transpiration as well as thermo acoustics for small scale propulsion.

Computational work in aerodynamics includes the development of tools and techniques for rapid grid generations, modeling of turbofan propulsion systems for full aircraft simulations at high angle-of-attack and crosswind operations, and airfoils with embedded cross flow fans for powered lift and circulation control.