CFD Tool VSPAERO: Actuator Disk and Flow Visualization

Master Thesis

Autor: Maruxa Bayón Fernández

Date: 2023-10-20

Supervisor: Dieter Scholz


Purpose - To show how VSPAERO as part of OpenVSP from NASA can be set up to visualize and analyze the flow around passenger aircraft lifting surfaces combined with jet engines. The actuator disk inside a duct is used to model this aero-propulsive interaction. --- Methodology - Aerodynamic results obtained with VSPAERO for wing and tail are compared, considering different engine positions. --- Findings - VSPAERO offers reliable results if the simulation is set up with care. The user must always keep an eye on model discretization and refinement, flow conditions, and actuator disk parameters. Depending on the purpose of the analysis, only a disk or rather a combination of a disk with a duct can be used. The combination of a disk with a duct shows the influence of jet engines on lifting surfaces in a more realistic way and improves the results of the calculation. Jet engines mounted on the wing disturb the flow around the wing. If engines would be mounted on the wing tip, their detrimental aerodynamic interference with the wing could be limited. --- Research Limitations - To use the actuator disk to model propellers is difficult. No attempt has been made to show this in this thesis. --- Practical Implications - VSPAERO can be used with ease, but substantial time is needed to get familiar with the program, although online help is available. This thesis may shorten the time to get results from calculations using the actuator disk to model jet engines in VSPAERO. --- Originality - This thesis contributes to the didactics of integrating jet engines into VSPAERO. Results obtained for jet engine positions on an Airbus A320 geometry only illustrate the approach. Engine integration is multidisciplinary and not a question of aerodynamics alone.

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URN, the Persistent Identifier (from the German National Library) to quote this Landing Page: https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:gbv:18302-aero2023-10-20.015 pin

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Associated research data: https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/HFCSQZ (will be activated after the student supplied the data)

Six engines aerodynamic results for the disks, ducts & wing case

Aerodynamic flow visualization for six engines under a wing. Each engine is modelled with actuator disk and duct.

LAST UPDATE:  22 October 2023
AUTHOR:  Prof. Dr. Scholz

home  Prof. Dr. Scholz
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