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New Numerical and Analytical Tools for Aerodynamic flow Control

Final Report Summary - NNATAC (New Numerical and Analytical Tools for Aerodynamic flow Control)

NNATAC is a Marie Curie funded project coordinated by an academic partner: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) (Spain), and with the participation of industrial partner from the aeronautical sector: Airbus Group Innovation (UK).
The project is funded under the Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways call as part of the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and run from the 1st of April 2013 to 28th of March 2017.
During the 4-year duration of the project partners collaborated closely in the development of new tools for aerodynamic flow control combining the predominantly theoretical/numerical capabilities available in the academia with state-of-the-art computational and experimental capabilities available at Airbus. Members of research teams from both institutions spent periods ranging from 2 to 6 months incorporated within the working environment of the other institution. In addition the project funded contracts of two experienced researchers (18 months each) who have been incorporated in both sectors to promote the collaboration and to be trained in the specific research areas of the project. One of the researchers has been employed by UPM after termination of his participation in NNATAC to work on further development of the NNATAC research lines funded by the participants.
The project included organization of several workshops to enhance the knowledge in common research lines and promote the dissemination of results to industry, academia and general public.
The research topics of NNATAC focus on the prediction and control of laminar-turbulent transition and separated flows. A contribution to a better understanding of the underlying physics and the advancement of new numerical methods better suited for these flows has been achieved as a scientific outcome of the project.
NNATAC tackles aerodynamic flow control phenomena by means of five research lines distributed in distinct but complementary and interacting work packages:
• WP1: Development of new numerical tools for transition-prediction analysis.
• WP2: Development of new numerical tools for instability and receptivity analysis.
• WP3: Stability analysis of flow control devices.
• WP4: Modelling of flow control device.
• WP7: Mesh deformation tools for ice accretion problems.
High order numerical methods (e.g. h/p spectral or Discontinuous Galerkin) that minimise numerical errors can provide more accurate flow predictions. In addition, flow stability studies and adjoint methods may give better insight into the flow mechanisms triggering flow separation or transition to turbulence and help on the design of control devices. Finally, mesh deformation tools are becoming a key ingredient in the simulation of ice accretion problem, because of the complicate 3D geometries that appears in this kind configuration. The combination of the above techniques is expected to reduce engineering design loops, improve aircraft safety and cost associated to new developments.
The successful conclusion of NNATAC allowed for new initiatives and synergies that enhance high-profile research between European countries in different sectors. From the technical point of view, the main advances include:
• General improvements in numerical methods and underlying physics which provide a better understand of transition prediction, detached flow and their sensitivity under external perturbation.
• Investigation of the optimal flow control techniques to improve the aircraft performance in high-lift or laminar flow.
• Implementation of the most advances algorithms and tools for mesh deformation in complex configurations.
Apart from the scientific results the project allowed for:
• Enhancing the transfer of knowledge between industry and academia.
• Visibility of different Airbus-sites outside NNATAC.
• Collaboration between partners through visits of the fellows (secondments).
• Dissemination of the scientific outcomes by participation in numerous international conferences and journal contributions, including joint publications between the partners
• Specialist exchange between the networks team and contribution of expert from outside and inside the network.
• Successful extension of the collaboration between the two partners in the framework of two new H2020 projects with the participation of AGI and UPM, in the topics of turbulent drag reduction (DRAGY) and Sensitivity analysis (SSEMID).
NNATAC has allowed for general progress of communication between industry and academia and allowed the transfer of knowledge and tools from academia to industry and improved capability of the academia to a better perception of industrial problems. The project contributed to design of improved methods for the analysis of flow separation (by introducing new techniques that provide insight about the stability of a given design), novel simulation techniques (which will reduce the design loop cost by reduction of resources needed to perform the same simulation) and solution quality increase (by improving the mesh generation quality assessment). Industry, as an important aircraft manufacturer has acquired from this project awareness of new potential technologies, as well as new capabilities which could be implemented within the aircraft design process in order to lower the production costs and minimise the negative impact of the aviation industry on the environment.

For more details you can visit the project´s website: