Flow control and unsteady aerodynamics

Flow control and unsteady aerodynamics

Passive and active flow control methods are used in delaying laminar-turbulent transition, to reduce drag in turbulent channel flows and boundary layers, to reduce aerodynamic fatigue loading on wind turbines or to sustain leading-edge vortices on pitching/plunging airfoils.

The focus of unsteady aerodynamics is to investigate the influence of fluctuating in-flow conditions, e.g. velocity or angle of attack, on boundary layers and separated flow regions. Such situations arise under atmospheric conditions on airplane wings, on wind turbines experiencing gusts or changing wind conditions or in flapping flight. In many cases these effects are investigated using generic flow configurations, e.g. pitching/plunging airfoils and plates. Increasingly, the application of flow control methods to unsteady flows is becoming a research focus.

For experimental methods the instiute is provided with a wide range of measurement techniques including e.g.