Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

Research and development in Computational Aerodynamics and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been an integral part of the overall activities of the department since the mid-seventies. Early work in this area was strongly coupled with the LCA program and resulted in panel-method-based codes for predicting aerodynamic loads on complete aircraft configurations. These codes have since given way to Euler and Navier Stokes codes for analyzing aerospace configurations of varying complexity. There has been a sustained effort in the area of Grid Generation over almost a decade resulting in IITZeus, a grid generation package capable of generating structured and unstructured multiblock grids for arbitrary three-dimensional configurations. The work mentioned above initially began through various research efforts, and culminated in tools that are used today by the aerospace-related community in the country.

Recent research and development work has focussed on the use of Finite Volume Time Domain (FVTD) techniques to numerically simulate electromagnetic scattering by aerospace configurations for calculating their Radar Cross Section (RCS), and the development of new CFD algorithms for applications such as computing the flow inside calandria of a nuclear reactor and simulating slosh in launch vehicles. Some recent and ongoing student projects include CFD in the hypersonic regime, simulating gas particle (dusty) flows and Cartesian-grid-based methods for arbitrary configurations.

Research in CFD is computationally intensive, and requires extensive computational support. CFD research at the department is supported by the Associate Center for CFD, which has several compute servers and workstations. A 16-noded Linux-based parallel cluster is a recent addition to the computational power in the CFD Center. Current parallel applications being investigated include RCS computations for aerospace configuration at the L, S and higher frequency bands.

A CFD software called IITZeus has been developed in the Department. IITZeus accepts CAD data from CAD systems and carries out CFD analysis including grid generation and post-processing using a variety of algorithms. The Department has developed potential and Euler codes for predicting aerodynamic loads over complete aircraft configurations. These codes have been and are being used for Indian aerospace programs.

Current work in Computational Electromagnetics (CEM) at the department involves numerical simulation of electromagnetic scattering from three-dimensional aerospace configurations for calculating the Radar Cross Section (RCS). The RCS is the area of a fictitious perfect reflector of electromagnetic waves that would reflect the same amount of energy back to the radar as the actual target, and is a measure of the target's visibility to the radar. The same object has different RCS at various viewing angles and radar frequencies. Reducing the RCS of aerospace configurations has become an important issue in combat applications. This work is being funded in part by ADA and HAL, Bangalore.

Program on Airship Design & Development (PADD)

The Programme on Airship Design and Development (PADD) was launched at IIT Bombay in 2001, with team members drawn from various national aerospace organizations and private sector companies in India. PADD aims at developing airship technology in India for various scientific and commercial applications for various roles such as aerial surveillance, disaster management, and advertisement & product promotion. The first phase of PADD, a study project sponsored by Technology information Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC), was completed in 2003. In this Phase, conceptual design studies of airships for transportation of goods and passengers over mountainous terrain under 'hot and high' conditions were carried out. Techno-economic feasibility of leasing airships for operation in India was investigated, and a Project Definition Report for development of two types of airship was proposed in future phases: the PADD Demo and the PADD PaxCargo.

Two remotely controlled airships, the PADD Micro (with a payload capacity of 1.0 kg) and PADD Mini (with a payload capacity of 3.5 kg) have been designed and developed. Studies are also being carried out in the areas of design and development of stratospheric airships; shape optimization of aerostat and airship envelopes; and development of robust control systems for unmanned airships.

Some of the work conducted at the Department has resulted in spin offs in the biomedical field. In the year 2002-2003, papers published by the faculty and students of the department appeared in AIAA Journal, Journal of Aircraft, Journal of Aeronautical Society of India, International Journal of Computers and Fluids, Journal of Royal Aeronautical Society, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Journal of Reinforced plastics and Composites, Composite Structures, Journal of Composite Materials, Composites Science and Technology, Journal of Sound and Vibration, and Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics.

The Department also encourages faculty and students to participate in national and international conferences and professional meetings. Current funded research at the department addresses the specific areas of: Theoretical and computational flight dynamics, Nonlinear control laws for high-angle-of-attack flight, Dynamics and control of axial compressor stall/surge, Modeling and dynamics of fuel slosh, Aerodynamic estimation and trajectory simulation of cruciform missile configurations, RCS computation for aerospace bodies, Spacecraft attitude trajectory planning, Structural response reduction using active control, Aerothermal studies in hypersonic flows, Infrared signatures of combat aircraft engines, Mechanical performance of 3D woven composite structures, Design and analysis of propulsion unit for hypersonic vehicles, Design and analysis of transonic axial compressor blading, and Grid generation for CFD analysis.