One of the subject areas in aeroelasticity encompasses the prediction of statistical and time-dependent loads and deformations on air and space structures using ‘flow-structure coupling’. Here, the highly accurate numerical processes of ‘Computational Fluid Dynamics’ (CFD models), for the calculation of steady and unsteady aerodynamic forces, and the ‘Finite Element Method’ (FE models) are used to calculate structural deformations. As there is an interaction between the aerodynamic forces and the resulting deformation of the elastic structure, and both computational models are spatially discretised in different ways, it is necessary to use a spatial interpolation process to couple both computational domains.
Flow-structure coupling is one of the activities of the ‘Aeroelastic Stability and System Response’ group. The focus thus lies on the further development of numerical processes, their implementation in the existing software and its validation.
Currently, numerical studies using flow-structure coupling are being carried out for a gust experiment. This includes the generation of models, implementation of numerical methods in existing software and the recalculation of wind tunnel measurements. The numerical simulation of a gust experiment can be seen in the figure. In this case, the front wing serves as the gust generator and generates an unsteady wake field through its movement (e.g. harmonic), which then hits the elastic wing behind it and induces vibrations.
Examples flow-structure coupling uses