Airfoils at Low Reynolds Numbers

The Influence of Turbulence on the Flow Structures and Loads on Airfoils and Wings at Low Reynolds Numbers

Micro Air Vehicles (MAV) are small aircrafts with wings spanning less than 0.5m, fields of application are e.g. environmental monitoring and surveillance at low altitudes. Characteristic disturbances due to trees or uneven terrain which influence the flow in the atmospheric boundary layer is be modeled by turbulence grids in the Atmospheric Wind Tunnel Munich. One of the main research questions is the characterization of the reaction of aerodynamic forces and separation bubbles on the large scale disturbances of the incoming flow. Simultaneous measurements of the surface pressure and the flow field (PIV) are conducted for an two dimensional airfoil in order to investigate the influence of the turbulent flow on forces and moments. Another experiment is designed to record integral information by simultaneously measuring forces and moments on a wing together with PIV. Detailed comparisons of the different experiments with focus on the inflow conditions will provide information in how turbulent structures influence loads on a wing/airfoil.


The project is funded  by  the  German Research Foundation (DFG) under grant number HA 6926/2-1.


Applicant: Dr.-Ing. R. Hain

Research assistant: Dipl.-Ing. Sebastian Herbst