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The University of Southampton

Understanding aerofoil flow physics using simulations

Airofoil Noise

The sizing of civil aircraft is dictated by the extreme loads experienced at the limits of the flight envelope, ie during turbulence, gusts and extreme manoeuvres. The aim of this project is to achieve a complete understanding of the unsteady aerodynamic behaviour of generic wings in extreme conditions involving plunging motion near the stall angle. This improved knowledge of the vortical flows and their influence on aerodynamic force generation is then used to develop accurate, reduced-order models to improve the accuracy of numerical simulations and to develop effective high-frequency load control strategies. The current project addresses these aspects through a computational approach using state-of-the-art direct numerical simulations.

Technological advantages

  • Cutting-edge flow-solver that has been purposely developed for exploiting a range of modern high-performance systems
  • World-class computational performance – excellent scaling demonstrated up to order 100,000 cores
  • No turbulence modelling assumptions made; solution based on first principles, so that simulations can be considered to be virtual experiments
  • Novel immersed boundary method allows for investigation of complex trailing-edge geometries

Technology roadmap

2013-2018: Code development and optimisation of code through EPSRC grant (EP/L000261/1): ‘UK Turbulence Consortium’

2015-2018: EPSRC funding under grant (EP/M022692/1): ‘Unsteady aerodynamics of wings in extreme conditions’

Collaboration opportunity

The code can be adapted to a number of other geometrical configurations, and flow and noise control strategies can be tested using this virtual wind tunnel approach.

If you would like to know more, please contact Neil Sandham

Airofoil Noise

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