Roughing up wings: A promising technique in laminar flow control
European Postgraduate Fluid Dynamics Conference, University of Warsaw, July 2016
Flying aeroplanes is expensive. And sometimes dangerous. Since Ludwig Prandtl derived the boundary layer equations in 1904, fluid dynamicists—especially those working in the field of aeronautics—have been applying them to investigate ways to modify the flow near the surface of an aeroplane wing. This includes trying to prevent or advance transition to turbulence, delay separation and reduce drag: all in an attempt to cut costs and avoid aircraft stall.
In this talk we will present a promising technique in laminar flow control, first studied by Huebsch (2006), Huebsch & Rothmayer (2011), Grager et al. (2012), involving small oscillating roughnesses. We will see that these roughnesses show great potential for delaying or suppressing the separation of a laminar boundary layer, and will briefly investigate how they affect the flow in a condensed layer.