UTIAS CFD and Propulsion Group

Current Research Activities

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Parallel Implicit Adaptive Mesh Refinement Schemes for Physcially Complex Flows Having Disparate Scales

CFD method development research focuses on the investigation and development of novel, parallel, high-order, finite-volume and adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) schemes for predicting physically-complex flows having disparate spatial and temporal scales. Key elements of the research include:

  1. development of AMR and embedded mesh strategies for treatment of complex geometries and interfaces using hybrid multi-block meshes consisting of both body-fitted and more generally unstructured grid blocks;

  2. development of isotropic and anisotropic mesh refinement techniques based on dual-weighted reconstruction and residual error estimates;

  3. development of parallel implicit AMR methods based on a Newton-Krylov-Schwarz (NKS) approach;

  4. development of more efficient and scalable parallel solution algorithms;and

  5. development of high-order finite-volume spatial and temporal discretization schemes for improved solution accuracy.

Fundamental Studies and Detailed Modelling of Laminar Flames

The high-fidelity CFD method development described above is being applied to the study of both non-premixed and premixed laminar flames using detailed physical modelling which includes the effects of chemical kinetics, molecular transport, radiation, and emissions and soot formation/destruction. The fundamental combustion properties, flame structure, extinction properties, and sooting propensity of various gaseous and liquid fuels are being studied under conditions of both low-gravity and high pressure. The combustion of new and alternative gaseous and liquid bio-based fuels including biogas, syngas, ethanol, other alcohol-based fuels, and biodiesel.

Numerical Prediction of Turbulent Reactive Flows

The high-fidelity CFD method development is also being applied in conjunction with both Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS)-based methods and large-eddy simulation (LES)-based techniques for the prediction of turbulent non-premixed, partially-premixed, and premixed reactive flows in practical gas-turbine combustion devices under high pressure and temperature conditions. The LES research includes the design of effective high-order, parallel, AMR, finite-volume methods for performing LES, discrete explicit filtering strategies , subfilter-scale (SFS) modelling for treatment of the unresolved turbulence and chemistry and their interaction, and the control of discretization, filtering, and SFS modelling errors. A range of SFS models are being examined, including both flamelet-based and non-flamelet-based methods.

Numerical Modelling of Non-Equilibrium Gases and Plasmas

The development of novel theoretical and numerical approaches are also being investigated for efficiently predicting non-equilibrium, transition-regime, rarefied flows of gases and anisotropic plasmas using hyperbolic, realizable, maximum-entropy-based, moment closures which follow from kinetic theory. The hyperbolic, maximum-entropy-based, moment closures are particularly promising for the modelling micro-scale nonequilibrium gaseous flows and the treatment of fully and partially ionized anisotropic plasma. Moreover, the purely hyperbolic nature of the resulting moment equations makes the closures particularly appealing from a computational perspective, allowing accurate discretizations on AMR mesh.

Numerical Modelling of Solid and Hybrid Liquid/Solid Rocket Motors

Research is also being carried out the application of the parallel, AMR, finite-volume methodology described above to the prediction of

  1. two-phase, turbulent, core flows of propellant gases and inert particulates in solid propellant rocket motors; and

  2. multi-phase, turbulent, sub-, trans-, and super-critical multi-phase flows associated with liquid oxygen (LOX) injector systems of staged-combustion, aft-injected, hybrid (SCAIH), liquid-solid, rocket motors under high-pressure conditions.

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