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.


Center for Assistive Technologies to Enhance Human Performance (iPerform)

Collaborative research between university and industry researchers to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of people with disabilities and enhance the productivity of well-bodied people.

Dynamic Networks and Control Lab

Cyber-physical systems research to dynamic network and control applications. Includes various UAV, UGV, hominoid, and control system fabrication platforms.

Guidance and Control of Autonomous Systems Lab

Multiple motion-capture cameras for UAV tracking, indoor testing and evaluation of UAVs.

Radio Frequency and Auto Identification Labs

Research into use cases and cybersecurity of RFID systems, including healthcare applications, smart hospitals, logistics and supply chain management, and manufacturing and asset tracking.

Robotic Vision Lab

Computer vision applied to robotics and automation. Includes a variety of state-of-the-art machines, sensors, and robot platforms.

Human-Data Interaction Laboratory

Motion capture facility to record human behaviors such as motion, facial expression, and eye movements, and produce 3D animations.

Manufacturing Automation and Robotic Systems Lab

Resources relating to robotics, manufacturing and automation and controls.

UTA Research Institute (UTARI)

  • Autonomous Systems Laboratory - High-bay testing and staging area for robotics and aerial and ground vehicles. Includes a 22-camera Vicon motion-capture camera system, ground vehicles (DR Robot Jaguars, Clearpath Husky), air vehicles (3D Robotics X-8 Multicopter, Parrot AR Drone quadcopters, DJI S1000 Octocopter with Pixhawk Autopilot) and multiple sensor packages (sonar, lidar, vision).
  • Robotics Laboratory - Service robotics development and testing. Includes a mock apartment with common appliances, Willow Garage PR2 humanoid robot, and a Rethink Robotics Baxter humanoid robot with Clearpath mobile base.
  • Manufacturing Automation Laboratory - Systems for automation and manufacturing process research.
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