Numerical investigation of static and dynamic stall of single and flapped airfoils
Liggett, Nicholas Dwayne
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Separated flows about single and multi-element airfoils are featured in many scenarios of practical interest, including: stall of fixed wing aircraft, dynamic stall of rotorcraft blades, and stall of compressor and turbine elements within jet engines. In each case, static and/or dynamic stall can lead to losses in performance. More importantly, modeling and analysis tools for stalled flows are relatively poorly evolved and designs must completely avoid stall due to a lack of understanding. The underlying argument is that advancements are necessary to facilitate understanding of and applications involving static and dynamic stall. The state-of-the-art in modeling stall involves numerical solutions to the governing equations of fluids. These tools often either lack fidelity or are prohibitively expensive. Ever-increasing computational power will likely lead to increased application of numerical solutions. The focus of this thesis is improvements in numerical modeling of stall, the need of which arises from poorly evolved analysis tools and the spread of numerical approaches. Technical barriers have included ensuring unsteady flow field and vorticity reproduction, transition modeling, non-linear effects such as viscosity, and convergence of predictions. Contributions to static and dynamic stall analysis have been been made. A hybrid Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes/Large-Eddy-Simulation turbulence technique was demonstrated to predict the unsteadiness and acoustics within a cavity with accuracy approaching Large-Eddy-Simulation. Practices to model separated flows were developed and applied to stalled airfoils. Convergence was characterized to allow computational resources to be focused only as needed. Techniques were established for estimation of integrated coefficients, onset of stall, and reattachment from unconverged data. Separation and stall onset were governed by turbulent transport, while the location of reattachment depended on the mean flow. Application of these methodologies to oscillating flapped airfoils revealed flow through the gap was dominated by the flap angle for low angles of attack. Lag between the aerodynamic response and input flap scheduling was associated with increased oscillation frequency and airfoil/flap gap size. Massively separated flow structures were also examined.