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Improved Computer Simulation Can Build Faster, Cleaner, Cheaper Planes

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Simulation of the turbulent eddies on the wing of a commercial airplane.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and a key industrial partner have funded a Stanford University doctoral student in the Center for Turbulence Research to establish whether the new approach is ready to be used to design commercial airplanes.

Credit: Center for Turbulence Research at Stanford University

Stanford University School of Engineering researchers have enhanced computer modeling to better predict the lift and drag of an airplane's structure, without slowing the speed of calculation.

This entails breaking the problem into smaller mathematical components, and isolating the area where air and plane intersect with turbulence farther from the plane’s surface.

Modelers simulate only the largest eddies, which are more computationally manageable to address, and the Stanford team designed a second model to calculate smaller eddies' impact on large eddies, further reducing computational strain.

Stanford's Konrad Goc said, "We've found that our simulations have superior accuracy compared to existing tools in key flow regimes. This will give aircraft designers more confidence in their simulation predictions, especially for complex landing configurations."

From Stanford Engineering
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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