A High-Fidelity Computational Technology to Study the Dynamic Behavior of Micro Air Vehicles

Space and Aeronautics

Project Description

The goal of this project is to develop a high fidelity computational technology that has the capability to accurately model and simulate the aerodynamic performance of micro air vehicle designs in the presence of atmospheric disturbance with verification procedures. This technical design software allows for the study of air vehicle dynamics during wind gust disturbances, as well as the comparison with experimental results and real time tests. In addition, the design of aerodynamic perturbations, improved understanding of dynamic behavior for fixed and flapping wing movements that have high efficiency requirements for vehicle specifications.

This computational technology is to be based on a recently developed state- of-the-art embedded boundary method for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), its robust coupling with a high-fidelity nonlinear structural analyzer capable of modeling large motions and deformations associated with rigid or flexible flapping wings, and its interfacing with control law algorithms for the simulation of complex flight scenarios including in the presence of wind gusts. Indeed, such vehicles operate in the lower Reynolds number regime and tend to have light weight flexible flapping wings. Their unsteady and turbulent aerodynamics are closely linked to their structural dynamics which features large motions and deformations, and their flight characteristics are affected by environmental factors such as wind gust. The software requires a high powered computing facility that will allow for quick solving of complex mathematical equations that describe the aerodynamic air flow, this is carried out through the support of super computers.

Team Members

List of Publications