SolidWorks Videos

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Aerofoil Kinematics Computational Fluid Dynamics

This post is about a 2D NACA 0010 aerofoil undergoing various forms of forced kinematics i.e. pure heaving and pitching and a combination of two known as flapping.

Heaving motion is achieved by changing the angle of attack on the aerofoil based on the Eqn. 1.

αe = arctan[2*π*Sta*cos(2*π*fh*t)] + αi               Eqn. 1

The pitching motion is achieved by employing the sliding mesh with the rotational velocity governed by Eqn. 2.

ω = 2*π*fh*ϑ*cos(2*π*fh*t)                                 Eqn. 2

w.r.t. Eqn. 1-2 αe is the effective angle of attack, Sta is Strouhal number (defined as (fh*h0/U∞)), fh is the frequency of oscillations, while ωt and ϑ represent rotational velocity, instantaneous time and pitching angle. h0 is the heaving amplitude and U∞ is the free stream velocity.

The flapping motion is achieved by a combination of the heaving and pitching. In this particular simulation, the aerofoil is in the power extraction mode, meaning the feathering parameter χ is greater in magnitude than 1.0. Feathering parameter is defined by Eqn. 3.

χ = ϑ/arctan(h0*2*π*fh/U∞)                                  Eqn. 3

The boundary conditions employed for the set of simulations are at Re 50,000, Sta 0.0149, h= aerofoil chord lengthχ = 1.1 and fh = 0.5 Hz. The animation of the velocity contours superimposed with streamlines is shown in Fig. 1. The velocity scale ranges from 0 to 7 m/s. Pressure distribution (shall be added later) around the aerofoils in various forms of motion, after five complete cycles is shown in Fig. 2.

Fig. 1, Flow animation, fluid flow direction is from left to right

If you want to collaborate on the research projects related to turbomachinery, aerodynamics, renewable energy, please reach out. Thank you very much for reading.

Friday, 26 June 2020

Heaving Airfoil Simulation

This post is about a 2D NACA 0012 heaving aerofoil. Heaving motion is achieved by changing the angle of attack on the aerofoil based on the Eqn. 1.

αe = arctan[2*π*Sta*cos(2*π*fh*t)]+ αi               Eqn. 1

w.r.t. Eqn. 1, αe is the effective angle of attack, Sta is Strouhal number, fh is the heaving frequency.

The case S1 and H6 from [1] are compared in the animations below.

If you want to collaborate on the research projects related to turbomachinery, aerodynamics, renewable energy, please reach out. Thank you very much for reading.



Monday, 13 April 2020

Formation Flight Computational Fluid Dynamics

     This is a post about computational fluid dynamics analysis of formation flight.

     The results from an analysis of three unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) flying in a V-type formation are presented. The chosen UCAV configuration, shown in Figs. 1-2 and available for download here, is named SACCON (Stability And Control Configuration) UCAV. This configuration is used because of the availability of the geometric and aerodynamic data, used in the validation and verification of the numerical analysis. The SACCON UCAV is designed by NATO's (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) RTO (Research and Technology Group) under Applied Vehicle Task Group (AVT-161) to assess the performance of military aircrafts.


Fig. 2, Technical drawing for the SACCON UCAV

     The simulation is performed using commercially available computational fluid dynamics code.  The details about the solver and the discretization schemes are presented next. The simulation is performed using SIMPLE-R solver for pressure-velocity coupling. The diffusive terms of the Navier-Stokes equations are discretized using central differentiating scheme while the convective terms are discretized using the upwind scheme of second order. The κ-ε turbulence model with damping functions is implemented to model turbulence. The simulation predicts three-dimensional steady–state flow over UCAVs.

     The Reynolds and Mach number of flow are set at 1e6 and 0.15, respectively. The two trailing UCAVs are placed 3 wingspans behind the leading UCAV. The trailing UCAVs are a wingspan apart. The V-type configuration is chosen because it is the most common observation in birds (author's observation). The V-type formation is shown in Fig. 3. All three UCAVs are at 5° angle-of-attack.

Fig. 3, The V-type formation (top view)

     The boundaries of the computational domain are located at a distance equivalent to 10 times the distance between the nose of the leading UCAV and the tail of the trailing UCAV. The mesh is made of 821,315 cells. Mesh controls are used to refine the mesh in the areas of interest i.e. on the surfaces of the UCAVs and in the wake of all three UCAVs. A cartesian mesh with immersed boundary method is used for the present study. The computational domain with mesh is shown in Fig. 4 while a closeup of the mesh is shown in Fig. 5.

Fig. 4, The computational domain and mesh

Fig. 5, Closeup of mesh, notice the refined wakes of the UCAVs

     For validation and verification, the lift and drag forces from the present study are compared with studies [1-2]. The results are in close agreement with [1,2] As a result of flying in a formation, an improvement in the lift-to-drag ratio of 10.05% is noted. The lift-to-drag ratio of the trailing UCAVs is at 11.825 in comparison with a lift-to-drag ratio of a single UCAV, i.e. 10.745. The lift coefficient is increased by 7.43% while the drag coefficient decreased by 2.174%. The reason(s) to why the efficiency increases will be looked upon later, if ever the author has the time and will power .

     The results from post processing of the simulations are presented in Figs. 6-7. The pressure iso-surfaces colored by velocity magnitude are shown in Fig. 6. While the velocity iso-surfaces colored by pressure magnitude are shown in Fig. 7.

Fig. 6, Flight direction towards the reader

Fig. 7, Flight direction away from the reader

     Thank you very much for reading. If you would like to collaborate on research projects, please reach out.


Sunday, 22 March 2020

Hypersonic Flow over a Two Dimensional Heated Cylinder

     This post is about the simulation of hypersonic flow over a heated circular cylinder, in two dimensions.

     Equation 1 is used as a relationship between Mach and the Reynold number.

M= Re*μ*√(R*T) ÷ d*P*√γ     (1)

     w.r.t. equation 1, the parameters represent the following quantities.

     M     Freestream Mach number at 17.6
     Re    Reynolds number at 376,000
     μ     Dynamic viscosity at 1.329045e-5 Ns.m-2
     R     Specific gas constant at 286.9 J.(kg.K)-1
     T     Freestream temperature 200 K
     d     Cylinder diameter at 5.6730225e-4 m
     P     Freestream pressure at 101325 Pa
     γ     Specific heat ratio at 1.4
     Tw  Wall temperature of cylinder at 500 K
     Pr    Prandtl number at 0.736

     The boundary conditions were taken from [1]. A comparison with [1] is shown in Fig. 1. Inside Fig. 1, the red dotted line with circles represents the data from [1]. The black solid line represents the data from the present simulation. Within Fig. 1, 0° represents the stagnation point. The velocity, pressure, Mach number and temperature contours are shown in Fig. 2.

Fig. 1 A comparison with previous research [1].

Fig. 2, Top Row, L-R: Velocity and pressure contours. Bottom Row, L-R: Mach number and temperature contours.

The computational mesh and the computational domain with boundary conditions visible are shown in Fig. 3-4, respectively. The computational domain had a size of 20D x 20D. The mesh had 836,580 total cells and 944 cells were located at the solid fluid boundary. Several local mesh controls were employed to capture the shockwave properly.

Fig. 3, The computational mesh.

Fig. 4, The computational domain.

     The solution method is Finite Volume method. SIMPLE-R is the solver employed. Implicit central difference scheme for diffusion terms, second-order Upwind scheme for convective terms and first-order implicit for temporal terms are used. The mesh created uses the Cartesian mesh with Immersed Boundary method.


     Thank you for reading. If you would like to collaborate on research projects, please reach out. I am looking for a PhD position, any guidance would be appreciated.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Flying Wing Design using Computational Fluid Dynamics (Verification and Validation)

     This post is about a transient simulation of the ONERA M-6 flying-wing aircraft with a cross-section of ONERA D airfoil, as shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 1, The simulated geometry. 

     The mesh had 2,474,614 cells in total with 300,892 cells on the wing surface, as shown in Fig. 2. The computational domain is shown in Fig. 4. The computational domain walls are at a distance equal to ten times the wingspan.

Fig. 2, The computational mesh.

Fig. 3, The computational domain.

     The simulated conditions are taken from [1-4] i.e. a freestream Mach number of 0.8395 at 101,325 Pa and 293.2 K. The angle of attack is 3.06°.

     The lift force from the present numerical simulation is at 19,551.65 N as compared to the lift force of 20,438.53 N as determined by [1-4]. The numerically determined drag force from present simulation is 1,370.88 N as compared to 1,313.24 N, as determined by [1-4].

     The results of lift and drag force from the present simulation are within 4.35% and 4.2% of the results calculated by NASA [4] and [1-3]. Streamlines and pressure surface plot around the aircraft surface are shown in Fig. 4.

Fig. 4, Results.


[1] Le Moigne, "A Discrete Navier-Stokes Adjoint Method for Aerodynamic Optimization of Blended Wing-Body, Configurations", PhD thesis, Cranfield University, United Kingdom, 2002.
[2] J. Lee, C. S. Kim, C. Kim, O. H. Rho, and K. D. Lee, "Parallelized Design Optimization for Transonic Wings using Aerodynamic Sensitivity Analysis", AIAA Paper 2002-0264, 2002.
[3] E. J. Neilsen and W. K. Anderson, "Recent Improvements in Aerodynamic Design Optimization on Unstructured Meshes", AIAA Paper 2001-0596, 2001.
[4] 3D ONERA M6 Wing Validation,

     Thank you for reading. If you would like to collaborate on research projects, please reach out.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis of a Drone

     This post is about the computational fluid dynamics analysis of a small drone. The drone features a blended body-wing design with various cross sections at different span-wise locations. The drone has a wing-span and length of 6 ft. and 4.92 ft., respectively. The root (center) portion of the drone is relatively thicker and symmetrical in cross section for increased mechanical strength while the the mid-section and wing tips are thinner and utilize more cambered aero-foils. This is purely a concept design and as of now, no physical model of this drone exists.

     The numerical simulations for the present study were carried out using SolidWorks Flow Simulation Premium© code. The code employs κ-ε model with Two-Scales Wall Functions approach as the turbulence model. The numerical algorithm implemented is the SIMPLE-R, modified. The second-order upwind discretization scheme is used to approximate the convective fluxes while the diffusive terms are approximated using the central differencing scheme. The time derivatives are approximated with an implicit first order Euler scheme. The SolidWorks Flow Simulation© solves the Navier-Stokes equations, equations 1-3, which are formulations of mass, momentum and energy conservation laws for fluid flows. Turbulent flows are predicted using the Favre-averaged Navier-Stokes equations.

     The mesh independence test was carried out starting with 348,679 fluid cells. The mesh density was then increased up to 2,360,514 cells. The results of mesh independence study are mentioned below.
                          Mesh Name             Cells            Lift [N]         Drag [N]      Lift/Drag
                          M1                          348,679       382.41 -48.14      7.95
                          M2                          1,032,665    466.08      -48.73      9.57
                          M3                          1,559,516    473.48 -47.89      9.89
                          M4                          1,990,010    486.38 -48.08      10.12
                          M5                          2,360,514    491.07 -48.32      10.16

     It can be seen that as the mesh density increased, the difference in the critical parameters between two successive meshes also reduced. The mesh independence test was stopped as the difference between all of the critical parameters was less than one percent for the meshes M4 and M5.

     The pressure and velocity plots at various span-wise locations are shown in Fig. 1-2. It can be clearly seen that there is a negligible change in the velocity and pressure distributions around the drone between meshes M4 and M5. It can also be seen that as the mesh becomes finer, the resolution of both the pressure and velocity plots also increases.

Fig. 1, Velocity contours of various meshes.

Fig. 2, Pressure contours of various meshes.

     Aero-acoustics around the drone were also examined, as shown Fig. 3.

Fig. 3, Sound level contours of various meshes.

     A zoomed in view of the computational mesh is shown in Fig. 4. The refined mesh at the drone walls as a result of the mesh controls employed is clearly visible. The hump near the root of the drone is also visible, it was added in order to prevent the span-wise flow.

Fig. 4, Mesh level M4.

     The boundary conditions and the computational domain are shown in Fig. 5. The large red arrows represents inlet velocity boundary condition and the large blue arrows represents the atmospheric pressure outlet boundary condition. The red squares represents real wall boundary condition (slip) applied to the computational domain walls so that the boundary layer from the walls does not effect the flow around the drone.

An animation of an aileron roll can be seen here.

Thank you for reading. If you would like to collaborate on research projects, please reach out.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Supersonic Projectile CFD Analysis

     This post is about the CFD analysis of a projectile projected in the horizontal orientation at an ambient mach number of 4.0.

     The projectile had dimensions as given in [1]. SolidWorks Flow Simulation Premium software was employed for the simulation. There were three different meshes each being about eight times finer at the boundary and surroundings. Fig. 1 shows mach number profiles around the projectile. The co-efficient of drag and lift is also mentioned. The number of partial (cells at the solid fluid boundary) and the total mesh cells are also mentioned.

Fig. 1 Mach number profile around the projectile.

     Various meshes around the projectile is shown in Fig. 2.

Fig. 2 Mesh around the projectile.

     The results from CFD are within 4.62% of the experimental results [1] for the coarse mesh (left of the Fig. 1-2), with in 2.82% of the medium mesh (middle pictures within Fig. 1-2) and within 2.53% for the fine mesh (right side of Fig. 1-2).

     To better capture the shock waves and the wake, the mesh was refined in the areas of interest (starting with the base coarse mesh shown in Fig. 1-2), as shown in Fig. 3.

Fig. 3 Mesh to better capture the shock wave.

     The velocity contours are shown in Fig. 4. The results were within 3.83% of experimental results [1].

Fig. 4 Mesh to better capture the shock wave.

     Thank you for reading, If you would like to collaborate on projects, please reach out.

[1] Bernard Massey, Mechanics of fluids (Revised by: John Ward-Smith), Nelson Thones Ltd., Cheltenham, U.K., 7th Ed., pp. 356 (1998).