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Adaptive Mesh Refinement and Simulations of Unsteady Delta-Wing Aerodynamics

by Le Moigne, Yann

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis deals with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)simulations of the flow around delta wings at high angles ofattack. These triangular wings, mainly used in militaryaircraft designs, experience the formation of two vortices ontheir lee-side at large angles of attack. The simulation ofthis vortical flow by solving the Navier-Stokes equations isthe subject of this thesis. The purpose of the work is toimprove the understanding of this flow and contribute to thedesign of such a wing by developing methods that enable moreaccurate and efficient CFD simulations.Simulations of the formation, burst and disappearance of thevortices while the angle of attack is changing are presented.The structured flow solver NSMB has been used to get thetime-dependent solutions of the flow. Both viscous and inviscidresults of a 70°-swept delta wing pitching in anoscillatory motion are reported. The creation of the dynamiclift and the hysteresis observed in the history of theaerodynamic forces are well reproduced.The second part of the thesis is focusing on automatic meshrefinement and its influence on simulations of the delta wingleading-edge vortices. All the simulations to assess the gridquality are inviscid computations performed with theunstructured flow solver EDGE. A first study reports on theeffects of refining thewake of the delta wing. A70°-swept delta wing at a Mach number of 0.2 and an angleof attack of 27° where vortex breakdown is present abovethe wing, is used as testcase. The results show a strongdependence on the refinement, particularly the vortex breakdownposition, which leads to the conclusion that the wake should berefined at least partly. Using this information, a grid for thewing in the wind tunnel is created in order to assess theinfluence of the tunnel walls. Three sensors for automatic meshrefinement of vortical flows are presented. Two are based onflow variables (production of entropy and ratio of totalpressures) while the third one requires an eigenvalue analysisof the tensor of the velocity gradients in order to capture theposition of the vortices in the flow. These three vortexsensors are successfully used for the simulation of the same70° delta wing at an angle of attack of 20°. Acomparison of the sensors reveals the more local property ofthe third one based on the eigenvalue analysis. This lattertechnique is applied to the simulation of the wake of a deltawing at an angle of attack of 20°. The simulations on ahighly refined mesh show that the vortex sheet shed from thetrailing-edge rolls up into a vortex that interacts with theleading-edge vortex. Finally the vortex-detection technique isused to refine the grid around a Saab Aerosystems UnmannedCombat Air Vehicle (UCAV) configuration and its flight dynamicscharacteristics are investigated.Key words:delta wing, high angle of attack, vortex,pitching, mesh refinement, UCAV, vortex sensor, tensor ofvelocity gradients.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:delta wing; high angle of attack; vortex; pitching; mesh refinement; UCAV; vortex sensor; tensor ofvelocity gradients

ISBN:91-7283-770-5

Date of Publication:01/01/2004

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