Concept and Objectives:

The objective of AFDAR is to develop, assess and demonstrate new image-based experimental technologies for the analysis of aerodynamic systems and aerospace propulsion components. The main development focus is on new three-dimensional methods based on Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) to measure the flow field around aircraft components, and on the high-speed version of the planar technique for the analysis in time-resolved regime of transient/unsteady aerodynamic problems. The progress beyond the state of the art with respect to current technologies is summarized by three aimed breakthroughs: 1) three-dimensional volumetric measurements over wings and airfoils; 2) time-resolved measurements and aerodynamic analysis several orders of magnitude faster than today; 3) turbulence characterization in aerodynamics wind-tunnels at resolution orders of magnitude higher than today by Long-Range Micro-PIV. The project ultimately aims to support the design of better aircraft and propulsion systems by enabling the designer to use experimental data during the development cycle of unprecedented completeness and quality. The work also covers the simultaneous application of PIV-based techniques and other methods to determine aeroacoustic noise emissions from airframe and to improve combustion processes to lower NOx, CO2 and soot emissions from engines.

The consortium is led by a Dutch Technical University and lists 10 partners including a Russian research Institute and an Australian University. Three industries are involved in this work either as participant or contributing under subcontract and providing testing facilities.

As final results of the project, a detailed analysis of the new measurement systems will be delivered and a number of demonstrations will be performed to validate the concepts in industrial environments. Special emphasis is given to the dissemination of results by meetings, publications, workshops and other initiatives.

AFDAR Results in brief:

High-tech simulation lowers aircraft costs

A new era in flight simulation and testing based on novel technology such as particle image velocimetry (PIV) will improve aircraft efficiency, enhance safety, speed production and reduce costs all at once.

The costly aerospace industry has benefited in recent years from formidable advances in computer simulation technology and graphics, which can shorten time and decrease expenses. Today, novel image-based experimental technologies applied to laboratory tests are proving particularly useful to analyse aerodynamic systems and aerospace propulsion prototypes. The EU-funded project ‘Advanced flow diagnostics for aeronautical research’ (AFDAR) is investigating and testing these cutting-edge technologies, for the advance of aerospace industry.

In particular, the project team is focusing on PIV to measure the flow field around aircraft wings and gain a deeper understanding of challenges in aerodynamics. It is working on the one side to achieve three-dimensional (3D) volumetric measurements over wings and airfoils, in addition to obtaining precise measurements and aerodynamic analyses much more rapidly than ever before with kilohertz measurement systems. The project team is also working at deeper understanding of turbulence physics in aerodynamics at radically higher resolution (orders of magnitude) using long-range micro-PIV.

In addition to improving the design of aircraft and propulsion systems, the new technologies help determine noise emissions, optimize combustion processes for lower carbon emissions. So far, the project has advanced research on the tomographic PIV technique significantly. It has successfully demonstrated the use of long-range PIV in conjunction with statistical image analyses, yielding more powerful measurements in industrial wind tunnels.

Success has also been achieved in developing protocols for complex experiments combining combustion scalar diagnostics and velocimetry. It paved the way for the application of these sophisticated techniques in the industry and demonstrated the feasibility by conducting relevant tests.

AFDAR now plans to contribute to help simulating difficult aviation scenarios that involve unsteady flows and vortex-dominated conditions. This is expected to further accelerate the design cycle and upgrade numerical tools to design a wider envelope of operations for aircraft systems. Last but not least, the project’s results will help pioneer future air transport technology, focusing on breakthroughs and emerging technologies in the area of combustion, propulsion and aerodynamics. This will bring a variety of benefits such as faster, safer, greener and possibly less costly aircraft for the future.

Public Documents

Periodic Report Summary