Passive separation control of a NACA0012 airfoil via a flexible flap

Alistair Revell, Adrian Harwood, Joseph O'Connor
2019 Physics of Fluids  
The incorporation of nature-inspired techniques to control or reduce boundary layer separation, to bring about performance enhancements on air/water vehicles, has been an active research area for many years. In this paper a baseline NACA0012 airfoil is modified using a short flap on its upper surface at Reynolds number Re=1000. The impact of the flap configurationdescribed by length, attachment position, deployment angle and material properties, on the aerodynamic performance of the
more » ... ified by mean and fluctuating forces, is investigated and the flow field is analysed. Inspired by the observation of pop-up feathers on a bird's wing, the flap is first set to be rigid for a range of location, size and inclination angles. After the optimal location of a rigid flap has been established, the flap is then allowed to be flexible, its motion coupled to the encircling flow field, and it is tested for a range of mass ratios and bending stiffness values. The fluid motion is obtained by solving the lattice Boltzmann equation while the dynamics of the flexible flap are calculated using the finite element method (FEM) and the coupling between flow and flap handled by the immersed boundary method (IBM). For the flexible flap, two flapping patterns are observed and the mechanism of separation control via rigid/flexible flap is explained. Compared to the flapless NACA0012 airfoil case, the case with a flap of optimal configuration, the mean lift coefficient is improved by 13.51%, the mean drag coefficient is decreased by 3.67%, the mean lift-drag ratio is improved by 17.84%, the maximum lift fluctuation is decreased by 40.90% and the maximum drag fluctuation is decreased by 56.90%.
doi:10.1063/1.5118933 fatcat:6m4iyq6jm5hs7nmjkvj2h6n4hm