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TN-Expla & Discov in Aerodynamics

TN-Expla & Discov in Aerodynamics

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Published by Gaurav Chopra

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Published by: Gaurav Chopra on Aug 23, 2011
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Explanation and discovery in aerodynamics
Gordon McCabeDecember 22, 2005
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to discuss and clarify the explanationscommonly cited for the aerodynamic lift generated by a wing, and tothen analyse, as a case study of engineering discovery, the aerodynamicrevolutions which have taken place within Formula 1 in the past 40 years.The paper begins with an introduction that provides a succinct summaryof the mathematics of fluid mechanics.
1 Introduction
Aerodynamics is the branch of fluid mechanics which represents air flows andthe forces experienced by a solid body in motion with respect to an air mass. Inmost applications of aerodynamics, Newtonian fluid mechanics is considered tobe empirically adequate, and, accordingly, a body of air is considered to satisfyeither the Euler equations or the Navier-Stokes equations of Newtonian fluidmechanics. Let us therefore begin with a succinct exposition of these equationsand the mathematical concepts of fluid mechanics.The Euler equations are used to represent a so-called ‘perfect’ fluid, a fluidwhich is idealised to be free from internal friction, and which does not experiencefriction at the boundaries which are defined for it by solid bodies.
1
A perfectNewtonian fluid is considered to occupy a region of Newtonian space Ω
R
3
,and its behaviour is characterised by a time-dependent velocity vector field
t
,a time-dependent pressure scalar field
p
t
, and a time-dependent mass densityscalar field
ρ
t
. The internal forces in any continuous medium, elastic or fluid,are represented by a symmetric contravariant 2nd-rank tensor field
σ
, calledthe Cauchy stress tensor, and a perfect fluid is one for which the Cauchy stresstensor has the form
σ
=
 pg
, where
g
is the metric tensor representing thespatial geometry. In component terms, with the standard Cartesian coordinates(
x
1
,x
2
,x
3
) on Euclidean space,
σ
ij
=
 pg
ij
=
 pδ
ij
. Where
is the covariantderivative of the Levi-Civita connection corresponding to the Euclidean metrictensor field on Newtonian space, the Euler equations are as follows:
ρ
t
∂U 
t
∂t
+
t
t
=
grad
p
t
+
t
.
1
An ‘ideal’ fluid is the same thing as a ‘perfect’ fluid.
1
 
The scalar field
t
represents the force exerted on the fluid, per unit volume,by any external force field, such as gravity.
2
Note that the gradient of 
p
t
is acontravariant vector field, not to be confused with a covariant derivative of 
p
t
,something which would add a
covariant 
index.The reader will find in many texts that the Euler equations are expressedwithout explicit use of the time subscript, and with (
·
)
or
·
sub-stituted in place of 
. In terms of Cartesian coordinates, one can think of 
·
as the differential operator obtained by taking the inner product of thevector
with the differential operator
∂/∂x
1
+
∂/∂x
2
+
∂/∂x
3
. In componentterms, one can write:((
·
)
)
i
=
1
∂U 
i
∂x
1
+
2
∂U 
i
∂x
2
+
3
∂U 
i
∂x
3
.
The
streamlines
of a fluid at time
t
are the integral curves of the vector field
t
.
3
Given that
t
is capable of being time-dependent, the streamlines are alsocapable of being time-dependent. The
trajectory 
of a particle over time can berepresented by a curve in the fluid,
φ
:
Ω, which is such that its tangentvector
φ
(
t
) equals the fluid vector field
(
φ
(
t
)
,t
)
at position
φ
(
t
) at time
t
. Thetrajectory of the particle which is at
x
Ω at time
t
= 0 can be denoted as
φ
x
(
t
) =
φ
(
x,t
). The trajectories
φ
x
(
t
) followed by particles in the fluid onlycorrespond to streamlines in the special case of steady-state fluid flow, where
∂U 
t
/∂t
= 0. The mapping
φ
:
×
Ω enables one to define a time-dependentset of mappings
φ
t
:
Ω. Given any volume
at time 0,
t
=
φ
t
(
) is thevolume occupied at time
t
by the collection of particles which occupied
attime 0.
φ
t
is called the fluid flow map, and a fluid is defined to be
incompressible
if the volume of any region
Ω is constant in time under the fluid flow map,(Chorin and Marsden 1997, p10). A fluid is defined to be
homogeneous
if 
ρ
isconstant in space, hence a fluid which is both homogeneous and incompressiblemust be such that
ρ
is constant in space and time.The Euler equations are derived from the application of Newton’s second lawto a continuous medium, i.e., the force upon a fluid volume must equal the rateof momentum transfer through that volume. From the conservation of mass,one can derive the so-called continuity equation:
∂ρ
t
∂t
= div (
ρ
t
t
)
.
In the case of an incompressible fluid,
∂ρ
t
/∂t
= 0 and div (
ρ
t
t
) =
ρ
div
t
,and, assuming
ρ >
0, the continuity equation reduces to:div
t
= 0
.
2
Given that a fluid possesses a mass density field
ρ
, it will also be self-gravitating, inaccordance with the Poisson equation:
2
Φ =
4
πGρ
. Needless to say, the strength of afluid’s own gravity is negligible in most applications of aerodynamics.
3
An integral curve
α
:
Ω of a vector field
is such that its tangent vector
α
(
s
) equalsthe vector field
α
(
s
)
for all
s
, where
is an open interval of the real line.
2
 
In the more general case of a non-perfect fluid, the Cauchy stress tensortakes the form (Chorin and Marsden 1997, p33):
σ
=
λ
(div
)
+ 2
µD ,
where
µ
and
λ
are constants, and
D
is the ‘deformation’ tensor, or ‘rate of strain’tensor, the symmetrisation of the covariant derivative of the velocity vectorfield,
D
= Sym (
). In the case of Cartesian coordinates in Euclidean space,the components of the covariant derivative correspond to partial derivatives,so
i
;
j
=
∂U 
i
/∂x
j
, and the components of the deformation tensor are
D
ij
=1
/
2(
∂U 
i
/∂x
j
+
∂U 
j
/∂x
i
).The relevant equations for a fluid with such a Cauchy stress tensor, derivedagain from Newton’s second law, are the Navier-Stokes equations. In the caseof an incompressible homogeneous fluid,
4
the Navier-Stokes equations take thefollowing form:
ρ
t
∂U 
t
∂t
µ
2
t
+
t
t
=
grad
p
t
+
t
.
The constant
µ
is the coefficient of viscosity of the fluid in question, and
2
isthe Laplacian, also represented as ∆ in many texts. With respect to a Cartesiancoordinate system in Euclidean space, each component
i
of the velocity vectorfield is required to satisfy the equation
∂U 
i
∂t
µ
∂ 
2
i
∂x
21
+
∂ 
2
i
∂x
22
+
∂ 
2
i
∂x
23
+
1
∂U 
i
∂x
1
+
2
∂U 
i
∂x
2
+
3
∂U 
i
∂x
3
=
1
ρ∂p∂x
i
+
ρ.
The mass density
ρ
has been shifted here from the left-hand side to the right-hand side of the equation, and the time subscript has been removed to avoidclutter.Only solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations are capable of representingthe presence of a
boundary layer 
in the fluid flow adjacent to a solid body, aphenomenon of crucial importance in aerodynamics. The only internal forcesin a perfect fluid are pressure forces, and these act normally to any surface inthe fluid. In contrast, the boundary layer is a consequence of friction and shearstresses within a fluid, and such forces act tangentially to the surfaces whichseparate adjacent layers in a fluid. Due to friction between a fluid and thesurface of a solid body, and the presence of shear stresses within the fluid, thereis a region of fluid adjacent to the solid body in which the velocity is less thanthe free-flow velocity, and this region is the boundary layer. The fluid velocityin the boundary layer tends towards zero approaching the surface of the solidbody. Fluids with different coefficients of viscosity
µ
have boundary layers of different thickness, and different velocity gradients within the boundary layer.
4
Incompressible flow is a good approximation for aerodynamics at Mach numbers
M <
0
.
4,where
=
c
s
, the ratio of the flow speed to the speed of sound
c
s
.
3

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