Flow Physics and Control Focus Areas
The Institute for Flow Physics and Control was officially formed in July, 2001. Research funding comes from a broad number of government agencies, including all branches of the Department of Defense (Army, Air Force and Navy); DARPA; and NASA Langley, Ames, Glenn and Dryden Research Centers. A general theme of research that bridges this group involves flow diagnostics, prediction and control. This has led to a combination of basic research aimed at verifying or developing theories for fluid dynamic behavior, and the application of theory towards controlling flows. This has involved a multitude of flow fields including laminar and turbulent boundary layers, jets, shear layers and wakes at incompressible and compressible Mach numbers. The applications have included transition control, drag reduction, mixing, flow-induced vibration and acoustics. In addition to experiments, there has been a long tradition of theoretical and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and modeling of complex flows. The combination of these elements in a single site is a particular strength of the group.
The facilities in the Institute are primarily located in the Hessert Laboratory. This is a modern 40,000 square-foot building that includes laboratories, computer facilities, fully staffed machine and electronics shops, faculty and student offices, and conference and meeting rooms.
The research facilities include numerous high-quality subsonic, transonic and supersonic wind tunnels, as well as specialty facilities such as a high-speed heated anechoic jet facility, an anechoic open-jet wind tunnel, and an atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel. Specialized laboratories focus on particle dynamics, optical measurements, digital time-series acquisition and image processing, and computational fluid dynamics.
Current focus areas are on multiphase flows, fluid-structure interactions, aero-optics, intelligent control, aero-acoustics, turbomachinery and wind engineering.