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Aeromechanical Systems Group

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.


  • Supporting your business

    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)
    • Rotorcraft
    • Jets
    • Cavity flows
    • Guided weapons
    • Automotive.
  • Our people

  • Current research projects

    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.