2006 NIP Award Recipient
Computer Simulation of Electromagnetic Flow Control for High Speed Flight Vehicles
Brian Dennis - University of Texas at Arlington
Traditional control methods for flight vehicles have a variety of limitations when used at hypersonic speeds. Due to large aerodynamic loads, moving control surfaces require large actuation forces and must be fortified with a heavy structure. The surface effectiveness is also diminished due to heating, shock-boundary layer interactions, and low air density at the high altitudes proposed for hypersonic flight vehicles. The objective of this research is to study the feasibility of achieving extremely high degree of maneuverability of hypersonic vehicles without the use of moving aerodynamic surfaces. That is, the objective is to study the possibility of using the interaction of the electro-magnetic fields generated by the electrodes and magnets imbedded in the vehicle surface and the high temperature ionized air moving past the vehicle surface. This complex physical phenomenon is known as electro-magneto-gas dynamics (EMGD). It is well known that at reentry velocities the air temperature behind a shock wave and in the boundary layer increases to such an extent that the air dissociates and ionizes thus becoming an electrical conductor. If this moving media is subjected to the action of an electro-magnetic (EM) field, it is then possible to change the aerodynamic forces (shock stand-off distance, surface streamline pattern, local flow recirculation, turbulence intensity, etc.) and the heat transfer rate in a non-intrusive and practically instantaneous manner.