Drag Reduction of Air and Ground Vehicles with Active Flow Control Presentation

April 28, 2011 at 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

McDonnell Douglas Hall, Room 1016

Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, Air Force ROTC, Aviation Science, Graduate Program

On Thursday, Apr. 28, 2011 from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., Dr. Ramesh K. Agarwal will speak to graduate students about Drag Reduction of Air and Ground Vehicles with Active Flow Control at McDonnell Douglas Hall. Dr. Agarwal is the William Palm Professor of Engineering in the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department at Washington University.

About the Presentation

Currently, air and ground vehicles are responsible for 50% of petroleum (oil) consumption and 60% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide. There are approximately 500,000 air vehicles (335,000 Active General Aviation Aircraft, 18,000 Passenger Aircraft, 90,000 Military Aircraft, 27,000 Civil Helicopters, and 30,000 Military Helicopters), and 750 million ground vehicles in service worldwide. These numbers are forecasted to double by 2050. Most of the usable energy in the fuel goes into overcoming the aerodynamic drag of the vehicle. For example, in case of a truck, 53% of the usable mechanical energy in the fuel goes into overcoming the aerodynamic drag and 32% in overcoming the rolling resistance; only 9% is required for auxiliary equipment and 6% is used by the drive-train. 15% reduction in aerodynamic drag at highway speed of 55mph can result in about 5 -7% in fuel saving. Similarly, in case of an airplane wing, transonic drag due to turbulent shock/boundary layer interaction is a major contributor to overall drag. This talk will slow the potential of active flow control (AFC) technology to reduce the aerodynamic drag of air and ground vehicles by 10-15%. The successful demonstration of AFC technology in reducing the aerodynamic drag should pave its way for both retrofitting and deployment on new vehicles that will result in significant impact in reducing the fuel consumption (at least by 5%) and the GHG emissions worldwide. In many other countries, it will also reduce the dependence on foreign oil. 

Numerical simulations using the Unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) equations on solution adaptive structured grids in conjunction with a two-equation realizable k-ε turbulence model will be presented. The results of simulations for a generic wing configuration and three generic truck configurations will be presented. The computations are compared with the experimental data without and with AFC; the numerical simulations are in good agreement with the experimental data. These studies clearly demonstrate that the AFC techniques can be intelligently employed to achieve significant reduction (10-15%) in aerodynamic drag of both air and ground vehicles. 

About Dr. Agarwal

Professor Ramesh K. Agarwal is the William Palm Professor of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. From 1994 to 2001, he was the Sam Bloomfield Distinguished Professor and Executive Director of the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University in Kansas. From 1978 to 1994, he was the Program Director and McDonnell Douglas Fellow at McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratory in St. Louis. Dr. Agarwal obtained his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1975. He is the author and co-author of over 300 publications. His research interests are in aerodynamics, flow control and renewable energy systems. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical engineers (ASME). He has been the recipient of many honors and awards.

For more information contact Dr. Malik at amalik8@slu.edu.

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