The Vortical Flow and Diagnostics Lab directed by Dr. Todd Lowe specializes in experimental fluid mechanics and the development of advanced diagnostics for propulsion and energy applications. Experimental rigs like the heated jet rig shown above support a wide range of industry- and government-sponsored research at the Advanced Propulsion and Power Laboratory.
An example research thrust in this rig is supersonic jet noise reduction. Modern tactical aircraft engines and future propulsion concepts for supersonic transport aircraft produce intense noise familiar to anyone who has attended an airshow. Well beyond the annoyance to the general public, crewpersons on aircraft carriers must work for extended periods in the region of most intense noise emissions of these aircraft. Sadly, these crewpersons can incur lifelong hearing damage from their service. In our program, we seek to obtain new information on the fundamental behaviors of high speed jets, supporting strategies to reduce noise via operational and design changes. Using a new flow diagnostics approach, information about the speed and intensity intermittent turbulent waves is obtained and interpreted based upon nozzle conditions and theory for jet noise radiation. A highlight of the effort is continuing development focused on large-scale applications including measurements in actual tactical aircraft engine exhausts.
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