Aerodynamics and Aeropropulsion

Research in hypersonics, computational fluid dynamics, vertical lift/rotorcraft aerodynamics, wind turbine aerodynamics, and formation flight aerodynamics

Aerodynamics Aeropropulsion Research in the College of Engineering

UTA's arc-jet heated hypersonic wind tunnel

Aerodynamics Research Center

Current research has focused on experimental high-speed and high-temperature aerodynamics, shock/boundary layer interaction, and detonation. In addition to the experimental facilities, we have extensive capabilities to study and test aerodynamic models using computational fluid dynamics. The experimental test results can be used to validate the CFD models, and vice-versa.

Research Highlights

Hypersonic, Commercial Transportation Feasibility Study

The Aerospace Vehicle Design (AVD) Laboratory is working with NASA Langley Research Center on a feasibility study to determine how current technology could make hypersonic travel a reality sooner and at less cost. The project is exploring the feasibility, practicality, and affordability of commercial hypersonic transports, with the intent of identifying knowledge gaps guiding future NASA hypersonic research investments.

Measuring temperatures and heat flux on hypersonic flight systems

UTA researchers and UTA's Aerodynamic Research Center (ARC) are working with the Air Force in exploring ceramic and other non-metallic materials to fabricate novel advanced temperature and heat-flux sensors using a new additive manufacturing technology. The sensors must withstand the harsh environmental conditions experienced by hypersonic flight systems and the prime sponsor

Advanced diagnostics in plasma flows

UTA's Aerodynamic Research Center (ARC) is working with the Department of Energy and the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory group to advance fundamental knowledge associated with state-of-the-art femtosecond laser diagnostics in plasma flows.

Discovering Optimal Morphing/Flapping Mechanisms

UTA is working on uncovering fundamental insights into how avian creatures optimize wing morphing, and flapping patterns that would pave the way to design of quieter, and more efficient flight.

Development of a Space Launch & In-Space Strategic Transportation Roadmap for Defensible Space

The Aerospace Vehicle Design (AVD) Laboratory has developed a Strategic Transportation Roadmap for Defensible Space for the AF Office of Scientific Research. Since global trends are eroding the U.S. advantage in the air and space, the new mantra is Defendable Space. Effective space access is in a state of revolution, given the emergence of significantly lower-cost reusable space launch vehicles under development in the U.S. and worldwide. The parametric space architecture is essential for the space access & in-space transportation capability & cost revolution expected for the year 2030. The transportation roadmap is the Primer to identify emerging individual technology studies.

Arc-jet flow characterization

UTA's Aerodynamic Research Center (ARC) has pioneered two cutting-edge measurement techniques in its state-of-the-art arc-jet plasma wind tunnel. Through funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), research at the wind tunnel focuses on developing advanced laser-based measurements of plasma flow for the study of heat shields for hypersonic vehicles. Specifically, femto-second laser electronic excitation tagging (FLEET) and femto-second two-photon absorption laser induced fluorescence (fs-TALIF).

Advanced Guidance, Navigation, and Control Algorithms for Lighter than Air Systems

UTA is working on projects funded by the AFWERX and collaborating with local industry on developing algorithms to be deployed on novel Airship concepts to meet the Urban Air Mobility needs and challenges.

Resources

Aerodynamics Research Center

The Aerodynamics Research Center is home to the nation’s only university-based arc-heated, hypersonic wind tunnel, which features a femtosecond laser system. The center also boasts low-speed, transonic and supersonic wind tunnels, a hypersonic shock tunnel and detonation rigs. Advanced laser-based diagnostics includes stereoscopic particle image velocimetry, femto-second laser electronic excitation tagging, femto-second two-photon absorption laser induced fluorescence, and filtered Rayleigh scattering.

Aerospace Vehicle Design Laboratory

The AVD Laboratory is developing the nation’s only NASA- and USAF-endorsed university-based multi-fidelity aerospace vehicle design synthesis methodology and software AVDS. The lab’s research addresses the broad range of manned and unmanned subsonic to hypersonic aircraft, reusable and expendable space launch vehicles, space tourist vehicles, in-space elements and space architecture planning at the strategic conceptual design level, followed by the preliminary and detail design phases.

Aerospace Systems Laboratory

The Aerospace Systems Laboratory conducts research in modeling, simulation, control and estimation of mechanical and aerospace systems from a systems perspective. The lab hosts several unmanned ground vehicles, and quadcopters, PX4 autopilots and sensor systems such as lidar, sonar, stereo cameras, and processing hardware such as the NVIDIA jetsons.

Computational Aerothermodynamics Lab (CAL)

CAL performs numerical studies on the equilibrium and nonequilibrium gas dynamics, mixing and chemical reactions in ground based and aerospace propulsion systems. CAL has open-source and in-house software to treat the flows at high temperatures and/or pressures.

Guidance and Control for Autonomous Systems Lab

The Guidance and Control for Autonomous Systems Lab performs research on developing motion-planning strategies for aerial and underwater robotic vehicles, active wing shaping control laws for morphing aircraft (both passenger-sized and small-scale aircraft), prediction of aircraft loss of control, and cybersecurity for multi-agent systems. The lab hosts multiple Vicon motion capture cameras and quadcopters equipped with lidar sensors.

Related Faculty

Animesh Chakravarthy, Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Animesh Chakravarthy, Ph.D.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

 

Bernd Chudoba, Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Bernd Chudoba, Ph.D.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

 

D. Stefan Dancila, Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

D. Stefan Dancila, Ph.D.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

 

Atilla Dogan, Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Attila Dogan, Ph.D.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

 

Daejong Kim, Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Daejong Kim, Ph.D.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

 

Frank Lu, Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 

Frank Lu, Ph.D.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

 

Luca Maddalena, Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 

Luca Maddalena, Ph.D.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

 

Kamesh Subbarao, Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 

Kamesh Subbarao, Ph.D.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

 

Don Wilson, Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 

Don Wilson, Ph.D.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

 

Liwei Zhang, Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 

Liwei Zhang, Ph.D.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering