CORDIS - EU research results

Next-generation flow diagnostics for control

Project description

The more you know, the better you can control: complete flow description for flow control

The efficiency of numerous natural and man-made processes relies heavily on the behaviour of fluids in motion. Active flow control has demonstrated remarkable potential optimising the efficiency of fluid flow applications. However, it has faced challenges transitioning from the laboratory to real applications, as a technique providing a complete flow description in experiments is lacking. The EU-funded NEXTFLOW project aims at providing the next-generation flow diagnostics for active flow control by pursuing complete flow descriptions based on time-resolved 3D characterisation of velocity and thermodynamic variables. The project will prioritise quick translation to applicability by exploring solutions with the minimum technological complexity and novel data output formats directly aimed at flow control applications.


Fast-paced advancements of hardware and machine-learning algorithms have triggered successful applications of active flow control, even though mainly limited to laboratory-scale applications. One of the main limits resides in the lesson we are able to learn today from experiments. We can successfully train actuators with probes in a controlled environment to reach a certain goal, e.g. aerodynamic drag minimization or noise reduction; on the other hand, an experimental technique that provides a full description of the flow is not available, thus generalization of the actuation effects to real applications is often prohibitive.
The objective of NEXTFLOW is to conceive the next-generation flow-diagnostics aimed to flow control by leveraging the principles of completeness and compactness of the measurements. Completeness implies aiming to pursue a complete flow description, i.e. a time-resolved 3D characterization of velocity and thermodynamic variables. This will be achieved through a technique-integration approach based on data-driven methods. This grounds its basis on the principle that the superposed application of techniques is superior to their separate use. Compactness is pursued by exploring solutions with minimum technological complexity, and on developing new data output formats that are directly aimed at flow control applications. Key enablers for this task are (i) the novel concepts I recently proposed on data-driven techniques integration, (ii) the deep embedding of compressed-sensing methods in the data processing and (iii) the data-driven discovery of simplified governing equations of the dynamics.
The next-generation flow diagnostics concept will deeply change experimental fluid mechanics and flow control, allowing bridging the gap between the laboratory experiment to the real application, with tremendous potential impact on numerous industrial applications.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 1 499 062,00
28903 Getafe (Madrid)

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Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 499 062,00

Beneficiaries (1)