Flight Dynamic and Aero-Elastic Analysis of Inflatable Tethered Wings

The scope of this assignment is to develop an integral computational approach for high-fidelity simulations of flight dynamics and structural dynamics of inflatable tethered membrane wings.


Project

The operation of a flexible membrane wing is a complex FSI problem. The exterior air flow determines the aerodynamic load on the wing, its deformation and flight dynamics. In turn, the changing shape of the wing and the inflow conditions affect the exterior flow. The scope of this assignment is to develop an integral computational approach for high-fidelity simulations of flight dynamics and structural dynamics of inflatable tethered membrane wings. Multibody System and Finite Element models are used to approximate the structural dynamics of the wing, whereas the aerodynamic load is approximated by Vortex Lattice or panel methods or is directly computed by CFD. The approach is validated using available measurement data and subsequently employed to analyse aero-elastic phe- nomena which are characteristic for the operation of traction power kites. As a final objective, the simulation method is employed in the design process for inflatable tethered membrane wings. Wind tunnel tests of a scaled-down in- flatable wing will also be conducted in TUD’s Open Jet Facility using newly developed flexible strips to provide low intrusive in-situ measurement of the pressure distribution on the flexible wing.

PhD Researcher

MSc and BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Tampere University of Technology

Major subject: Fluid Dynamics

Minor subjects: Energy and Process Engineering, Machine Design, Software Systems

Supervisors

Dr.-Ing. Roland Schmehl is Associate Professor at Aerospace Engineering, PhD in computational fluid dynamics, postdoc at ESTEC/ESA, experience in multiphase flow, liquid spray physics, low-emission combustion, rocket propulsion, multiphase flow, fluid structure interaction, head of the Kite Power Research Group at TUD since 2009, co-editor of first scientific textbook on Airborne Wind Energy published by Springer, member of program committee of Airborne Wind Energy Conferences 2011 and 2013, speaker at TEDx conference.

Dr. Ir. Axelle Viré is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering. She holds a PhD in Physics from Université Libre de Bruxelles and then worked at Imperial College London as a post-doctoral Marie Curie Research Fellow. She is experienced in the computational modelling of fluid-structure interactions, offshore wind turbines, multi-fluids problems, and flow turbulence. She currently holds a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant on the modelling of fluid-structure interactions for flexible wings.