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About

Director: Prof. Jack J. McNamara

Our research interests are broadly in the areas of fluid-structural interactions and model reduction of high-dimensional dynamical systems, with a synergistic focus on improving basic knowledge and computational methods. The unifying theme of our work is depicted to the right. The vertical branch corresponds to the progression of modeling fidelity (e.g., computational fluids, structures, materials, mathematics, chemistry, etc.); and the horizontal branch, progress in study of multi-disciplinary problems (e.g., fluid-structural interactions; control design & evaluation; MDAO; etc.). Progression in technical capabilities tends in primarily orthogonal directions, practically constrained by the need to invoke trade-offs in scope or fidelity. However, the continued pursuit of lighter, faster, stronger and multi-functional systems dictates the bridging of complex, multi-scale (in space and time) phenomena that are interacting across disciplines and domains. Thus, future transformative capabilities require a much broader intersection than presently offered by the status quo (gray shaded area). Overcoming this shortfall requires leveraging the state-of-the-art along both axes with systematic cycling between model fidelity and multi-discipline considerations.  As such, we seek to improve fundamental understanding of the physics and interactions that dominate, and in coordination identify, extend, or create model reduction strategies that can capture these mechanisms and enable balanced progression to new levels of understanding and capabilities. 

Our major contributions and future directions follow this theme with a focus on fluid-structural centric research gaps in hypersonics, wind turbines, flapping wing MAVs, and CFD-based aeroelastic analysis of full scale aircraft and automobiles.  Specifically, our research has addressed the following areas:

  • Hypersonics

    • Vehicle Scale Analysis: Aero-Servo-Thermo-Elastic-Propulsive (ASTEP) Interactions

      • Reusable Launch Systems

      • Hypersonic Munitions

      • Supersonic Transport

    • Component Scale Analysis: Response and Life Prediction of Thin Gauge Hot Structure

      • Fluid-Thermal-Structural Coupling

      • Impact of Loading Due to Turbulent Boundary Layers

      • Shock-Boundary Layer Interactions on Compliant Surfaces

      • Interplay with Hypersonic Boundary Layer Transtion

      • Inteplay with Material Evolution and Damage Accumulation

    • Modeling Approaches

      • Model Reduction of Computational Aerothermodynamics

      • Loosely-Coupled Time-Marching with Subcycling

      • Parallelizable Loosely-Coupled Time-Marching

  • Reduced Order Modeling of Highly Unsteady, Multi-Scale Flow Fields

    • Galerkin Projection

    • Basis Identification via Proper Orthogonal Decomposition

    • Basis Identification via Sparse Coding 

  • Wind Turbines

    • Impact of Wake Effects on Tubine Power and Performacne

    • Aero-Structural Design & Optimization

    • Wake Interactions in Wind Farms

  • Flapping Wing MAVs

    • Control Oriented Modeling of Wing Aeroelasticity

    • Control Evaluation in the Presence of Aero-Servo-Elastic-Motor Interactions

  • CFD-Based Aeroelastic Analysis of Full Scale Systems

    • Manuevering, Flexible Aircraft

    • Hood Lift and Vibration of Automobiles