and Flow Physics


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Sound-induced turbulence
through a circular orifice.

What is “Aeroacoustics”?

Aeroacoustics is centrally concerned with the generation and propagation of sound through a fluid. The prefix aero implies air, but one can also include sound in other fluids, such as water (also called hydroacoustics). Aeroacoustics is part of the broader topic of acoustics, the latter of which can include sound propagation through other types of media, including solids, plasmas, etc. Our research is primarily concerned with the generation, propagation, and minimization of sound produced by engineering and biological systems.

Through a combination of theory and computation we analyze complex systems from a physics-based perspective, usually solving the two- or three-dimensional compressible Navier-Stokes equations directly. Current aeroacoustic research projects include the prediction and reduction of supersonic jet noise, the radiation of sound by compliant structures, the prediction of the human voice, absorption of sound by acoustic liners, and the generation of sound by heated gas interacting with a high pressure turbine row.

Mach 2.25 turbulent boundarylayer interacting
with a flexible panel.

What is “Multi-Physics Simulation”?

Multi-physics systems are characterized as having regions with differing dynamics. In aerospace engineering applications, for example, a typical system might be composed of a fluid domain adjacent to a solid domain. What is most critical, however, is that the different domains are coupled together such that the dynamics of each domain depends on the dynamics of all of the other domains. Aeroelasticity is probably the most well known example. Our research approaches multi-physics problems from a “continuum, first principles” perspective where we solve the underlying continuum equations of motion accurately and pass traction (force), heat flux, and boundary motion between the individual domains. In doing so we solve the conservation equations for fluid and solid domains concurrently to yield the motion of the coupled system.