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Efficient Large Eddy Simulations of Helicopter Aerodynamics and Aeroacoustics


This project aims to push forward the state of the art in unsteady turbulent simulations of helicopters and UAVs flying in atmospheric turbulence generated over ships and through urban canyons. The developments aim to inform safe decision making for helicopter operations (potentially multiple concurrent platforms) around large structures.


Dr Ben Thornber.

Research location

Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering

Program type



Within the Fluid Dynamics Research group we have developed unique algorithms to tackle this challenge, which enable us to run unsteady computations efficiently for platforms incorporating one or many rotor blades, such as helicopters or quadrotors. These numerical methods use cutting edge high-order accurate, massively-parallel CFD methods, yet with an unsteady Actuator Surface Model for the rotating components, which reduce the computational effort by factors of 100+ compared to fully resolving the rotor blades.  The aim of this project would be to further advance this extremely promising research thrust, targeting (i) aeroacoustic prediction of rotor blade noise using the newly developed platform and (ii) extension of the existing unsteady rotor blade model to co-axial blade systems. The project will be in close collaboration with industry giving you the opportunity to gain industrial experience as part of the PhD, and also for Australian candidates a generous top-up stipend is available.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2274

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