Research and CFPA Lab

Current Research Funding:

  • Advanced Air Mobility Digitization, Caltrans (California Department of Transportation), (2022-2024)
  • High-Fidelity CFD Simulations for Tonal and Broadband Noise Predictions of Urban Air Mobility Aircraft, Supernal, (2021-2023)
  • Proprotor and Wing Interactional Aerodynamics for Performance, Acoustics, and Vibration, US Army VLRCOE, (2021-2026) (website)
  • Rapid Development of Urban Air Mobility Vehicle Concepts through Full-Configuration Multidisciplinary Design, Analysis, and Optimization, NASA ULI (2021-2024) (website)

Past Research Funding:

  • Broadband Noise Prediction Code Development and Optimization of Low Noise Airfoil, Hyundai, (2019-2020)
  • Toward Quiet Transformative Electric Vertical Aircraft, Hellman Foundation, (2018)
  • Loads Data Generation for Offshore Wind Turbine Rotor on Multi-Purposed Mobile Base, KIMM (Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials), (2016-2017)
  • Fundamental Aeroacoustics of Coaxial Helicopter Rotors, US Army VLRCOE, (2016-2020)

Research Topics:

  • Fundamental Fluid Mechanics and Aeroacoustics Research
    Aeroacoustics is a branch of fluid mechanics and acoustics that studies noise generation via either turbulent fluid motion or aerodynamic forces interacting with surfaces. We are tackling this difficult and important problem by solving complex and unsteady fluid dynamics and turbulent flows, and we are developing new theories and computational algorithms to predict the generation and propagation of aerodynamically induced noise. One example in this area is airfoil turbulent boundary layer trailing-edge noise. We are developing efficient and accurate numerical methods to predict trailing edge noise. We also use Large Eddy Simulations (LES) to investigate the detailed flow physics related to noise generation and propagation. Our research contributes to advancing aerospace engineering and science, and fundamental knowledge and understanding of unsteady flows, turbulence, and aeroacoustics.

                                                                                 (Image credit: Donghun Kang (PhD student) – LES for airfoil noise)

  • Rotorcraft Aerodynamics and Aeroacoustics
    Rotorcraft has a unique capability of hovering and vertically taking-off and landing. However, rotorcraft noise is an issue in terms of public acceptance in urban surroundings and detection in military operations. We are using high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and computational structural dynamics (CSD) coupling simulations to compute aerodynamic forces, wake flows, and elastic blade motions. Based on the flow fields and trim solutions, we predict tonal and broadband noise that are generated from rotating blades. A recent application of our research is toward transformative electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft or urban air mobility (air taxi) aircraft. We have also developed a new rotor broadband noise software named UCD-QuietFly, which has been widely adopted in academia and industry. We explore new ideas to reduce rotorcraft noise, enhancing the public acceptance of rotorcraft in urban areas and mitigating the detection of rotorcraft in military operations.

lab research

                                                    (Image credit: Henry Jia (PhD student) – Lift-offset coaxial rotor CFD simulations)


                                                           (Image credit: Jared Sagaga (PhD student) – Side-by-side rotor CFD simulations)

  • Wind Energy Aerodynamics and Aeroacoustics
    Wind energy is exponentially growing globally and has recently become mainstream of energy and power. In order to further reduce the cost of wind energy and to accelerate the expansion of wind turbine installation, it is important to improve aerodynamic efficiency and to maximize the capturing of wind energy. In addition, wind turbine noise has been an issue in building permit in residential areas. Our lab is working on wind turbine aerodynamic and aeroacoustic research. One particular research area is unsteady aerodynamics and dynamic stall prediction and mitigation. We use computational fluid dynamics (CFD), reduced-order vortex methods, statistical turbulent models, and experimental wind tunnel tests to advance the technology and knowledge of wind energy. Our research contributes to next-generation environmentally friendly renewable energy.                                                                                                              (Image credit: Jagdeep Batther (MS student) – Dynamic stall prediction using DDES)

  • Aircraft Engine or Turbomachinery Aerodynamics and Aeroacoustics
    Aeroacoustic research has been begun with the introduction of aircraft jet engine in 1950s. Since then, fan and jet noise have become most important noise sources in modern aircraft engines. We are working on predicting fan and jet noise by using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and statistical turbulent models. We explore new concepts to mitigate the engine noise. We are applying new technologies into both conventional ducted turbofan engines and next-generation open rotor or unducted fan engines. We are also working on the interaction of aircraft engine noise with a fuselage that is considered as an acoustic scattering problem or propulsion airframe integration. Another problem that we are working on is the propeller and wing interaction and its effect on aircraft performance, aerodynamics, and acoustics.                                                              (Image credit: Henry Jia (PhD student) – Quadrotor full vehicle CFD)

Learn more about our research