Numerical schemes for unsteady transonic flow calculation

Ly, E 2000, Numerical schemes for unsteady transonic flow calculation, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Department of Mathematics, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Numerical schemes for unsteady transonic flow calculation
Author(s) Ly, E
Year 2000
Abstract An obvious reason for studying unsteady flows is the prediction of the effect of unsteady aerodynamic forces on a flight vehicle, since these effects tend to increase the likelihood of aeroelastic instabilities. This is a major concern in aerodynamic design of aircraft that operate in transonic regime, where the flows are characterised by the presence of adjacent regions of subsonic and supersonic flow, usually accompanied by weak shocks. It has been a common expectation that the numerical approach as an alternative to wind tunnel experiments would become more economical as computers became less expensive and more powerful. However even with all the expected future advances in computer technology, the cost of a numerical flutter analysis (computational aeroelasticity) for a transonic flight remains prohibitively high. Hence it is vitally important to develop an efficient, cheape r (in the sense of computational cost) and physically accurate flutter simulation technique which is capable of reproducing the data, which would otherwise be obtained from wind tunnel tests, at least to some acceptable engineering accuracy, and that it is essentially appropriate for industrial applications. This need motivated the present research work on exploring and developing efficient and physically accurate computational techniques for steady, unsteady and time-linearised calculations of transonic flows over an aircraft wing with moving shocks.

This dissertation is subdivided into eight chapters, seven appendices and a bibliography listing all the reference materials used in the research work. The research work initially starts with a literature survey in unsteady transonic flow theory and calculations, in which emphasis is placed upon the developments in these areas in the last three decades.

Chapter 3 presents the small disturbance theory for potential flows in the subsonic, transonic and supersonic regimes, including the required boundary conditions and shock jump conditions. The flow is assumed irrotational and inviscid, so that the equation of state, continuity equation and Bernoulli's equation formulated in Appendices A and B can be employed to formulate the governing fluid equation in terms of total velocity potential. Furthermore for transonic flow with free-stream Mach number close to unity, we show in Appendix C that the shocks that appear are weak enough to allow us to neglect the flow rotationality. The formulations are based on the main assumption that aerofoil slopes are everywhere small, and the flow quantities are small perturbations about their free-stream values.

In Chapter 4, we developed an improved approximate factorisation algorithm that solves the two-dimensional steady subsonic small disturbance equation with nonreflecting far-field boundary conditions. The finite difference formulation for the improved algorithm is presented in Appendix D, with the description of the solver used for solving the system of difference equations described in Appendix E.

The calculation of steady and unsteady nonlinear transonic flows over a realistic aerofoil are considered in Chapter 5. Numerical solution methods, based on the finite difference approach, for solving the two-dimensional steady and unsteady, general-frequency transonic small disturbance equations are presented, with the corresponding finite difference formulation described in Appendix F.

The theories and solution methods for the time-linearised calculations, in the frequency and time domains, for the problem of unsteady transonic flow over a thin planar wing undergoing harmonic oscillation are presented in Chapters 6 and 7, respectively. The time-linearised calculations include the periodic shock motion via the shock jump correction procedure. This procedure corrects the solution values behind the shock, to accommodate the effect of shock motion, and consequently, the solution method will produce a more accurate time-linearised solution for supercritical flow. Appendix G presents the finite difference formulation of these time-linearised solution methods. The aim is to develop an efficient computational method for calculating oscillatory transonic aerodynamic quantities efficiently for use in flutter analyses of both two- and three-dimensional wings with lifting surfaces.

Chapter 8 closes the dissertation with concluding remarks and future prospects on the current research work.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Department of Mathematics
Keyword(s) Aerodynamics
Numerical methods
Potential flow
Shock wave
Transonic small disturbance equation
Type-dependent finite difference scheme
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Created: Thu, 17 Feb 2011, 11:04:42 EST
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