A NEW APPROACH TO RESEARCH

Research is at the heart of our operations. Ahmic's research programs are primarily focused on vehicle and test article performance, turbulence model validation techniques, and flow control systems. Through unique design tools and custom instrumentation, Ahmic offers a novel approach to boundary layer analysis across these challenging environments. Ahmic has conducted research in world-class facilities with top community partners, including NASA, AEDC, AFRL, CUBRC, Orbital ATK, ARL, and a variety of academic institutions.


Performance

A working knowledge of fluid interaction is critical in assessing the energy efficiency and controllability of any aerodynamic system.  At the most fundamental level, drag must be overcome to achieve forward motion and maneuverability; how effectively this is accomplished defines the economics of flight performance.  Under more complex flow environments, extreme pressures and temperatures increase the difficulty in quantifying even the most basic aerothermodynamic properties and challenge the confidence in measurement uncertainties.

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RESEARCH Areas: 

  • Shockwave/Boundary Layer Interaction (SBLI) regions and associated drag penalties
  • Mechanisms for Boundary-Layer Transition (BLT) and flow disturbance patterns
  • Cross-flow angle measurements on fast pitching axisymmetric and wedge body test models
  • Adaptive instrumentation techniques: temperature matching, curvature, roughness, material, etc.
  • Hydrodynamic drag on submarines under high-pressure, salt-water corrosive, bio-fouling conditions

VALIDATION

There remains a paucity of experimental data from which to develop a truly credible foundation for analytical and CFD modeling within complex flow systems. Credible experimental measurements are needed to anchor, validate, and verify such methods and their turbulence, heat transfer, and shear stress submodels.  

RESEARCH AREAS: 

  • Study of inferred heat flux estimations and correction factors in Hypervelocity (Mach 10+) flow
  • Skin friction on ablated TPS material to improve the accuracy of drag predictions for boost-glide vehicles
  • Build experimental database to anchor CFD in SBLI and BLT flow regions
  • Develop new correlations in the elliptic regions created by 2D shock interactions
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Control

Scramjet engines are inherently difficult to operate even under stable conditions and require a delicate balancing act from design to energy management. Scramjets are typically optimized for a particular set of flight conditions and are at inherent risk of unstarting due to maneuvering, throttle change, or abrupt changes in flow conditions. To counter these effects, long isolator ducts are typically incorporated to provide sufficient back-pressure margins, often at a cost of increased space, drag, and weight. Ahmic is developing an active flow control system to reduce the isolator induced costs and prevent engine unstart.

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RESEARCH AREAS: 

  • Characterize scramjet flowpath including shock-train movement, separation, and reverse flow features
  • Develop engine control system for early engine unstart detection and prevention
  • Use wall shear and shockwave detection as a real-time actuator control authority input source