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About the ARC

UT LSAMP Research Projects
The University of Texas System LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) program has provided scholarships and funds to support many undergraduate student research projects at the Aerodynamics Research Center. The LSAMP program is aimed at increasing the amount of underrepresented minority students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. The projects have been selected and developed by the students, and both are integral for future research plans for the ARC. In 2012, Elizabeth Blaiszik and Sarah Hussein won second and third place, respectively, for engineering research presented at the annual LSAMP Student Research Conference. A summary of past projects is shown below.
 
Interaction of a Detonation Wave with Homogenous Isotropic Turbulence (Elizabeth Blaiszik, 2012)
To be added.
 
Investigation of Turbulent Kinetic Energy and Reynolds Stress in a Detonation-Turbulence Interaction (Sarah Hussein, 2012)
The turbulent kinetic energy and Reynolds stress are two parameters that are important in understanding turbulent flows. These parameters cannot be determined from first principles and are an outcome of the closure problem in turbulence. A complex phenomenon is investigated whereby an initial turbulent field encounters a detonation wave characterized by a discontinuous jump followed by heat release. Not much is understood regarding such an interaction despite its importance in safety. This project reports an examination of how the two aforementioned parameters are modified by the detonation wave. The analysis utilizes an existing database from the direct numerical simulation of the conservation equations for an incoming flow at Mach 5.5 and a one-step Arrhenius chemistry to simulate hydrogen/oxygen combustion.
 
Statistical Analysis of the Velocity Fluctuations in a Strong Detonation-Turbulence Interaction (Sarah Hussein, 2011)
Following shock-turbulence interaction (STI), continuation studies of detonation-turbulence interaction (DTI) are conducted. Both STI and DTI are of fundamental interest as they embody complex gasdynamics phenomena. DTI has the added complexity of chemical reactions. The project is to process and visualize a large database obtained from the direct numerical simulation of DTI. Longitudinal fluctuations of five hundred datasets are analyzed statistically. The DTI problem involves the propagation of a shock wave into a turbulent, reactive mixture. When the shock is sufficiently strong, it will ignite the mixture. Due to the pre-existing turbulence, the combustion is not smooth. A wrinkled detonation wave forms. Of fundamental interest is the mutual interaction between the turbulent structures and the wave front.
 
Supersonic Fluorescent Vapor Flow Visualization Around a Microvortex Generator (Perla Gonzalez, 2010)
The behavior of microvortex generators in supersonic flow has been studied at the Aerodynamics Research Center as part of a research grant from the Air Force Office of Strategic Research. In addition to more commonly used flow measurement techniques, a method was developed to inject fluorescent vapor into the supersonic wind tunnel around the microvortex generators in order to visualize their behavior. These results were used to validate a computational model.
 
Modeling of a Detonation Driven, Linear Electric Generator Facility (Ezgihan Baydar, 2009, 2010)
The pulsed detonation engine (PDE) has been developed over several decades due to the promise it has for propulsion and power generation. The focus of this project was to consider if the unique properties of the detonation wave can be utilized to increase efficiency of power generation. A generator design that uses the force created by the pressure rise from the wave by converting it into to mechanical energy was numerically studied. Potential may exist for hybrid systems using both the heat and the force produced from the detonation wave..
 
Optically Accessible Facility for Detonation Wave/Turbulence Interaction (Thania S. Balcazar, 2009)
In order to support computational simulations of detonation wave interaction with a turbulent flow, the design of a facility for validation of the results was studied. Understanding the physics of this interaction is important for various turbulent mixing and propulsion applications. A novel method for creating uniform turbulence prior to the interaction with a detonation or shock wave was developed. The optically accessible test section was designed to be integrated with our PIV and Schlieren systems.
 
Rotating Detonation Wave Engine with Swirled Fuel Injection (Nathan L. Dunn, 2008, 2009)
Unlike a PDE which relies on a detonation wave propagating through a combustion chamber before exhausting into the atmosphere, a rotating detonation wave engine (RDWE) utilizes a detonation wave traveling in an annulus to produce thrust. The geometry is this rotating detonation wave is such that thrust will be produced parallel to the axis of rotation. Only a few of these engines have been successfully tested, with major developmental hurdles to overcome in fuel injection, starting, and maintaining the detonation wave. The motivation behind this project was to test a method of swirled fuel injection into the annulus in order to make the detonation wave travel in one direction at the beginning of the experiment.