Adaptive Detached Eddy Simulation of a High Lift Wing with Active Flow Control

PI Name: 
Kenneth Jansen
PI Email:
University of Colorado Boulder
Allocation Program: 
Allocation Hours at ALCF: 
70 Million
Research Domain: 

Active flow control can alter a natural flow field into a more desirable state when synthetic jet actuators are placed at key locations along an aircraft wing to improve efficiency and performance. Researchers plan a series of simulations focused on active flow control on a realistic high lift wing configuration, which includes a leading edge slat, a main wing, and a trailing edge flap along with their respective supports.

This project applies more advanced turbulence models which resolve, rather than model, the energetic turbulent eddies that accompany very complicated high lift, aerodynamic geometries, such as multi-element wings. Specifically, researchers will model an array of synthetic jets that have been vectored to augment the streamwise momentum near the flap suction peak. This can prevent or reduce flow separation, which limits flap effectiveness for high-deflection angles.

It is anticipated that synthetic jet flow control may prove effective in increasing or decreasing the lift on time scales rapid enough to offset the unsteady wind environment in which wind turbines are forced to operate. This would directly reduce the unsteady loads that prove detrimental both to wind turbine blades and the gearboxes used to convert wind energy into electric power. Understanding the fundamental flow physics of these synthetic jets is essential to these and many other applications.

The computational approach used for these simulations is the finite-element based flow solver, PHASTA, employed with anisotropic adaptive meshing and partitioning procedures. An excellent match to the active flow control simulations of complex and realistic wing configurations, these tools are applicable to flow problems that involve complicated geometries or complex physics.