Aerodynamics, Fluid Mechanics,

Flight and Flow Control

Fluid mechanics is a fascinating and important branch of science and engineering, and the Aerospace Sciences Division has diverse research interests in phenomena relevant to fixed and rotary wing aircraft; aeroelasticity; flow control; vortex dominated flows; turbomachinery; renewable energy devices including wind and marine turbines; fluid-structure interactions; unsteady shock waves and detonations; shock-boundary layer interactions; low- and high-speed aerodynamics; and advanced flow diagnostics. A range of industrial organisations and government agencies provides external support for these projects: EPSRC, Rolls-Royce, SWIFT, BAE Systems, US Army, Dowty Propeller, CAA, Clean Skies, and DSTO Australia, to name a few.

Computer systems are available with mature and diverse CFD codes, either in-house developed or the latest commercially available codes, for fluid flow simulation. These are complemented with a range of specialist equipment including research microscopes, low- and high-speed wind tunnels and shock tubes equipped with diverse test rigs and state-of-the-art measurement technology such as pressures sensitive paints, particle image velocimetry, and infra-red tomography to aid experimental investigations. 

 

Research topics

 

Staff
Dr. Craig White Dr. Kiran Ramesh
Dr. Euan McGookin Prof. Konstantinos Kontis
Dr. Angela Busse Dr. Marco Vezza
Dr. Hossein Zare-Behtash Dr. Richard Green

Rotor Aerodynamics

Dr. Richard Green, Dr. Eric Gillies

Helicopter rotor blades trail vortices that are persistent and remain in the vicinity of the rotor disk for a long time. This affects the aircraft performance, causes noise and vibration, and can lead to hazardous flight regimes. Activity at Glasgow to investigate helicopter rotor aerodynamics has been on-going for many years, and projects include vortex interaction phenomena, ground effect, vortex ring state and drag reduction strategies. The work has been conducted in wind tunnels using particle image velocimetry to measure whole flow fields, high density arrays of pressure transducers, and load cell systems for force and moment measurement. Our investigation into rotor aerodynamics also extends to propellers and airscrews at incidence.

Fluid-Structure Interactions

Dr. Marco Vezza, Dr. Hossein Zare-Behtash, Dr Kiran Ramesh

Our research on fluid-structure interactions focuses on applications in the area of wind engineering and industrial aerodynamics, including bridge decks, buildings, and energy capture. We also study aeroelastic phenomena such as flutter and buffeting, with the purpose of load alleviation using active and passive novel flow control effectors. Our interests cover both the in-house developed computational codes and the experimental FSI domains. The aim of research is to provide insight into the fundamental physics, and with this insight comes the power to control and manipulate adverse effects or optimise designs.

Compressible Flows

Prof. Konstantinos Kontis, Dr. Hossein Zare-Behtash

Travelling at high speeds entails overcoming adverse effects such as regions of high heat transfer and surface pressures, unsteady shock waves and their interactions, fluid-thermal-structure interactions, together with the requirement of drag reduction and improved propulsive efficiency. By employing and developing the very latest in advanced fluid diagnostics and experimental facilities we, at Glasgow University, tackle some of the most challenging and important problems within the aerospace industry from unsteady shock-boundary layer interactions to the application of novel plasma effectors for flow control.

Renewable Energy

Dr. Marco Vezza

Due to the environmental setbacks associated with fossil fuels and the fact that they are in finite supply, a great deal of research is targeted in developing greener and more sustainable sources of energy. A key strand of the research conducted within the Aerospace Division focuses on the renewable energy sector, more specifically wind and marine turbines. Analysing the dynamic load characteristics on such aerofoil sections, we aim to optimise the aerodynamic performance of such devices by either utilising advanced flow control techniques or through manipulation of the aerofoil geometry. By employing both experimental and computational tools we also assess the impact of such devices on the environment, such as the impact of marine turbines on the seabed.

Turbulent Flow Over Complex Surfaces

Dr Angela Busse

Complex surfaces, such as rough or super-hydrophobic surfaces, occur in many engineering applications. Surface roughness can be caused by many processes, e.g. fuel deposition, pitting, biofouling, and other forms of surface decay, and will in general increase drag. Super-hydrophobic surfaces are inspired by the Lotus-leaf effect and combine a hydrophobic surface chemistry with a surface structure on micro- and nanoscales. Super-hydrophobic surfaces can reduce skin-friction drag and have applications to transport of liquids in pipes and to watercraft.

In a current project in collaboration with the University of Southampton the influence of different forms of marine biofouling on wall-bounded turbulent flow is investigated to obtain an accurate prediction of the friction factor over a wide range of Reynolds numbers from the transitionally to the fully rough regime.

Aircraft Design

Dr. Eric Gillies

The design of modern aircraft require a balance between paramters such as aerodynamic performance, propulsive efficiency, structural weight and integrity (to endure aeroelastic effects for example), aircraft systems, and environmental impact. Aircraft design also relates to upgrades and modification to existing platforms, such as addition of modern scientific instruments to examine phenomena such as ash cloud dispersion. A recent project within Glasgow University in collaboration with C2 Aviation, Kemble, and the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurement of Cranfield University, has included use of the Canberra XH134 stratospheric atmospheric research vehicle.

Bio-Inspired Engineering

Dr. Eric Gillies, Dr. Richard Green, Dr. Euan McGookin

The design of modern aircraft require a balance between paramters such as aerodynamic performance, propulsive efficiency, structural weight and integrity (to endure aeroelastic effects for example), aircraft systems, and environmental impact. Aircraft design also relates to upgrades and modification to existing platforms, such as addition of modern scientific instruments to examine phenomena such as ash cloud dispersion. A recent project within Glasgow University in collaboration with C2 Aviation, Kemble, and the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurement of Cranfield University, has included use of the Canberra XH134 stratospheric atmospheric research vehicle.