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Aeromechanical Systems Group
The Aeromechanical Systems Group (ASG) is a research group based at the Defence Academy of the UK in Shrivenham, with diverse expertise in both aeronautical and power systems. Occupying the Aeronautics Centre and the Intelligent Propulsion and Emissions Laboratory (IPEL), the Group conducts experimental and computational research in the fields of aerial vehicle and weapon aerodynamics and performance, hybrid vehicle propulsion and performance, and combustion engine emissions control.
The Aeronautics Centre is home to nine wind tunnels, ranging in size and speed from the the 150mm supersonic tunnel to the impressive Houghton wind tunnel made for professional automotive racing models. The IPEL houses three separate engine test cells, used for monitoring emissions or power output of combustion engines. It is also the home to one 100kW electric motor/brake system and a 300BHP Eddie Current brake system for propulsion loading applications.
Together with extensive experimental research facilities and a long history of supporting and graduating higher degree students, the ASG also delivers a wide variety of courses and MSc programmes to the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom and to industry
The ASG is led by Professor Kevin Knowles.
The Aeromechanical Systems Group offers a range of education, research and consultancy services within its areas of expertise, from hire of experimental facilities (such as wind tunnels), to hire of facilities and staff, to complete project commissions.
Our current and recent consultancy projects include:
- Racing car testing
- Competition cyclist drag reduction
- Hang-glider pilot and cocoon drag testing
- Wind-loading assessment of structures and components, such as power-line insulators or wind-break material
- Pressure-drop measurements of radiator matrices
- Wind tunnel design
- Wind tunnel commissioning
- Guided-weapon performance analysis.
Our current and recent research covers the technology areas of:
- Unsteady aerodynamics and aeroelasticity
- Compressible flows
- Flow control
- Ground effects
- Propulsion and propulsion integration
- Power management.
with applications to:
- Uninhabited air vehicles (UAVs) and micro air vehicles (MAVs, including flapping-wing MAVs)
- Cavity flows
- Guided weapons
Head of Group
Current research projects within the ASG include:
- Flapping-wing micro air vehicle UAV aerodynamics and design
- Jet fluid mechanics and aeroacoustics
- Urban UAV gusting problems
- Hybrid electric and fuel-cell propulsion
- Diesel emission separation
- Transonic cavity flows
- Guided weapon aerodynamics.
Peer-reviewed journal papers
1) B. Khanal, K. Knowles, and A.J. Saddington, "Computational Investigation of Cavity Flow Control Using a Passive Device", The Aeronautical Journal of the RAeS, 2012, 116 (1176), pp 153-174. [ISSN 0001-9240]
2) L. Karunarathne, J.T. Economou, and K. Knowles, "Power and energy management system for fuel cell unmanned aerial vehicle", Proceedings IMechE Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 2012, 226 (4), pp 437-454. [ISSN 0954-4100; DOI: 10.1177/0954410011409995]
3) R.K. Strachan, K. Knowles, N.J. Lawson, and M.V. Finnis, "Force and Moment Measurements for a Generic Car Model in Proximity to a Side-Wall", Proceedings IMechE Part D: Journal of Automotive Engineering, 2012. Published online 18 May 2012 [DOI: 10.1177/0954407012443643]
4) N. Phillips and K. Knowles, “Positive and Negative Spanwise Flow Development on a Rotating Wing at High Angle of Attack”, AIAA Journal of Aircraft, 2012. [Accepted for publication]
5) N. Phillips and K. Knowles, “Formation of the Leading-edge Vortex and Spanwise Flow on an Insect-like Flapping-wing throughout a Flapping Half Cycle”, The Aeronautical Journal of the RAeS, 2012. [Accepted for publication]
Meetings and symposia presentations
6) V Thangamani, K Knowles and A J Saddington. "The Effects Of Scaling on High Subsonic Cavity Flow Oscillations and Control", in 18th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference, 4-6 June 2012. Colorado Springs, CO, USA.
7) J Correia, M V Finnis and K Knowles. “Scale Effects on a Single-Element Inverted Wing in Ground Effect”, in RAeS Applied Aerodynamics Conference: Modelling and Simulation in the Aerodynamic Design Process - Current Practice and Future Prospects, 17-19 July 2012. Bristol, UK.
8) V Thangamani, K Knowles and A J Saddington. “The Effects of Scaling on Flow Inside a Cavity at High Subsonic Mach Numbers”, in RAeS Applied Aerodynamics Conference: Modelling and Simulation in the Aerodynamic Design Process - Current Practice and Future Prospects, 17-19 July 2012. Bristol, UK.
9) A J Saddington, K Knowles and B Khanal. “Aeroacoustic Modelling of a 3-D Transonic Cavity Flow Using a High-Order Solver”, in RAeS Applied Aerodynamics Conference: Modelling and Simulation in the Aerodynamic Design Process - Current Practice and Future Prospects, 17-19 July 2012. Bristol, UK.
Saddington AJ, Finnis MV & Knowles K (2015) The characterisation of a gust generator for aerodynamic testing, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part G-Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 229 (7) 1214-1225.
Kladis GP, Economou JT, Knowles K, Tsourdos A & White BA (2015) Event-based energy optimum route planning in the context of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for multi-objective exploration missions. In: European Control Conference (ECC2009), Budapest, 23.8.2009 - 26.8.2009.
Chindamo D, Economou JT, Gadola M & Knowles K (2014) A neurofuzzy-controlled power management strategy for a series hybrid electric vehicle, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part D-Journal of Automobile Engineering, 228 (9) 1034-1050.
Knowles RD, Saddington AJ & Knowles K (2013) On the near wake of a Formula One front wheel, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part D-Journal of Automobile Engineering, 227 (11) 1491-1502.
Phillips N & Knowles K (2013) Positive and negative spanwise flow development on an insect-like rotating wing, Journal of Aircraft, 50 (5) 1321-1332.
Tipnis TJ, Finnis MV, Knowles K & Bray D (2013) Density Measurements for Rectangular Free Jets Using Background Oriented Schlieren, The Aeronautical Journal, 117 (1194) 771-784.