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UC6 - Active Control for Drag Reduction of Transonic Airfoils

UC6 is exploring a promising method for drag reduction using quality Direct Numerical Simulations, addressing the challenge of reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in aviation. 

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The Challenge

Direct numerical simulation of turbulent flows at moderately high Reynolds numbers is a challenging endeavour due to the high computational cost, complex data analysis, and mesh generation.



Several drag-reduction strategies exist, but few are applied due to cost. Promising methods include increasing wing efficiency to cut fuel use, notably with streamwise-traveling waves on the wing's suction side. Studies often overlook benefits in transonic conditions, where shockwaves occur, yet high-fidelity simulations show potential cost benefits.



The project aims to enhance the FLEW solver for compressible flows. It uses finite difference methods including shock-capturing methods and energy-preserving algorithms. Upgrades are undergoing to include GPU support, improved scalability, in situ visualization, and workflow enhancements for exascale computing.



Reducing the gap between high-fidelity simulations and realistic parameters will allow us to extract physically reliable results and understand the mechanism underlying the airfoil control strategy.