Principal Investigator: Kamran Mohseni
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Start Date: September 1, 2018
End Date: August 31, 2021
The design and development of highly-maneuverable aircraft has been a long-standing engineering challenge. This challenge presents itself in almost all flight regimes, from supersonic fighter jets down to low-speed, smaller-scale unmanned aircraft. Despite the very different operating conditions, there is at least one common feature among aircraft designs aiming to provide very agile, yet stable, flight. Namely, the planforms (the shape and layout of an airplane’s wing) of such aircraft are of low aspect ratio. Recent studies suggest that the aerodynamic and gust-response of such low aspect ratio fliers are significantly different than larger flyers and not well understood. This issue constitutes a critical gap in aerial vehicle development, and this research project addresses a critical gap in the development of reliable and fully controllable aerial drones. The researchers will also enhance course curricula with results from this research, and a course on unsteady low Reynolds number aerodynamics will be developed. A summer program is proposed that will enable local high school students to learn aerodynamics and flight concepts and to participate in a design/build/operate competition integrating fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, and aircraft design.