Major Research Thrusts
The performance enhancement of aerodynamic systems are investigated utilizing fluidic and smart material actuators such as piezoelectric-based synthetic jets and micro fiber composites. Our research integrates wind tunnel testing and advanced experimental fluid dynamics techniques such as particle image velocimetry (PIV) to investigate the underlying flow structures and more effectively apply flow control techniques. Experimental research currently underway explores applications in aerospace and wind energy.
Active Flow Control of Turbulent and Vortex Flows
Large Scale Blade Tip Vortex "Breakdown" Utilizing Synthetic Jet Actuators
Macro Fiber Composite Morphing Nozzles for Thrust Vectoring of Propulsive Jets
Aerodynamic Performance Enhancement of Airfoil Sections
Design and Flight Control of Reconfigurable and Hybrid Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
In collaboration, novel UAV systems based on modular and optimal design techniques are designed to offer a number of attractive features over traditional single-flight mode UAVs such as: (i) On-site reconfiguration from multicopter (VTOL flight capable) to fixed-wing (efficient forward flight) aircraft depending on the mission/ application, (ii) Reduced impact in suppy chain resources and cost to the manufacturer and added user flexibility to the consumer, and (iii) All-in-one VTOL and efficient forward flight hybrid UAVs through novel transition mechanisms and control methodologies.
Design of Off-line Reconfigurable UAV Systems
Enabling Hover to Forward Flight Transition of Fixed-Wing UAVs via Wing-Mounted Rotors
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Based Sensing and Data Processing
Monitoring of Gas Pipeline Utilizing UAVs to Obtain Aerial Imagery and Cathodic Protection Data
Integrating Atmospheric and Imagery UAV Data for Wildifre Spread Models and Firefighting Decision Making
Wind Resource Assessment Utilzing UAVs for Optimal Wind Turbine Placement and Power Production
The integration of UAVs into the national airspace will create a boom of economic activity in the United States where UAVs will be utilized for a wide range of aerial activities deemed impractical, dangerous, or too costly for manned aircraft. Our work focuses on obtaining atmospheric/ imagery data using UAVs and processing it in a manner that is useful for a variety of applications.