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Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Active Flow Control Modeling and Development


Aerospace Systems Directorate, RQ/Aerospace Structures, Aerodynamics, and Flight Controls

RO# Location
13.30.07.B4614 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 454337542


Name E-mail Phone
Tilmann, Carl P. 937.656.8782


Recent developments in small, powerful, and efficient flow control devices have made the application of active flow control systems on future aircraft a viable alternative. Modern flow control effectors and techniques show promise for localized adaptive control of boundary layer separation, laminar to turbulent transition, shear layer turbulence, and secondary flow features. They may also be used to create ‘virtual’ aerodynamic surfaces that can be tailored for changing operating conditions, or to provide flight control. To effectively use these devices in a system requires a multidisciplinary approach that includes further research in sensors, fluids, and adaptive control technologies. We must first acquire knowledge of the base flow to be modified, and determine which flow effectors can most efficiently modify it. We must also determine what flow properties can be sensed in a practical way and how this information can be used to indicate the state of the flowfield. Then controllers to interpret sensor information and direct the flow control effectors can be developed.

Areas of interest include (1) new flow control methods and actuator devices with expanded frequency range, greater amplitude, and improved adaptability; (2) control systems that optimize performance in specific applications; (3) numerical simulation and experimental validation of devices to enhance understanding of the relevant flow physics; (4) integration of existing devices into air vehicle systems; (5) laminar to turbulent transition modeling, prediction, and control; (6) flow control enabled flight control; (7) aero/structure/controls interactions; and (8) development of rapid flow control modeling methods that allow designers to utilize the technologies in design trade studies. Research could involve developing new flow control methodologies, data base development, computational modeling, analytical modeling, and/or software integration.


Boundary layer; Flow control; Active; Fluid dynamics; Drag; Transition; Lift; Airfoil; Wing; Design;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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