Multidisciplinary Design in Aeronautics, Enhanced by Simulation-Experiment Synergy

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: This thesis covers some aspects of current aircraft design, and presents how experiment and simulation are used as tools. Together they give enhanced effects over employing either one separately. The work presented has been produced using both simulations and experiments. An overview of aircraft design tools is presented, together with a description of their application in research. Participation in two major design projects, HELIX and the Rescue wing, gave an opportunity to combine traditional experimental and computational tools. They also serve as a platform for developing two new tools, the vortex lattice program Tornado and the DoTrack camera based wind tunnel measurement system.The HELIX project aimed at exploring new, unconventional high-lift systems, such as blown flaps, flaperons and active vortex generators. The concepts were investigated with an array of conceptual design tools, ranging from handbook methods to high Reynold’s number wind tunnels. The research was done in several stages. After each stage the concepts failing to reach specifications were discontinued. The active vortex generator concept is followed in detail from the first phase in the HELIX project, and was finally evaluated by full computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel testing.The lessons learned in HELIX were applied to the Rescue wing project, where a kite balloon system for emergency localization was developed. The project is truly multidisciplinary, and both experiment and simulation had to be used in close conjunction. Lack of appropriate methods for measurement and analysis of this kind of device meant that new methods had to be developed.Recent experience of academia working closely together with industry has shown substantial benefits to all parties involved. The synergy of computer modeling and simulation with experiment plays an important role in the common collaborative modus operandi of academia and industry. In particular, the later stages of aeronautic educational programmes should actively pursue such collaboration.