November 9, 2018
4:00 p.m.
655 McBryde Hall
Peter Baddoo, University of Cambridge
Faculty Host: Dr. Nathan Alexander

Abstract: Propulsion strategies such as formation flight and ground effect are powerful tools already harnessed by natural fliers to enhance their propulsive efficiency. As the need for energy saving techniques grows, a more detailed understanding of the basic mathematical and physical structure of these configurations is required. Recent advances into complex variable theory have made these “multi-body interactions” accessible via analytic techniques such as conformal mappings, allowing many studies into single body interactions to be extended to multiple bodies. In this talk, we will investigate the performance of a flat plate proximate to a ground plane by considering the point vortex equilibria, vortex sound, and pitching and heaving motions. The results shed some insight into the improved thrust-to-power ratios enjoyed by fliers or swimmers operating close to a ground plane, but may also be extended to other multi-body interactions. There are applications to UAV aeroacoustics, swimming shoals of fish and birds flying in formation.