Utah State University mechanical and aerospace engineering doctoral candidate Cory Goates and his adviser Douglas Hunsaker, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at USU, recently won the 2022 Applied Aerodynamics Best Paper Award from the 2022 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech Forum.
The technical paper entitled “Development of a Subsonic-Supersonic, Unstructured Panel Method” was published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in December of last year. The panel methods explored in the paper are low-order techniques for predicting supersonic aircraft performance and sonic boom loudness.
Panel methods were more commonly used in the ’70s and ’80s and have been largely superseded by more modern methods. Despite neglecting some aspects of the flow when using panel methods, Goates said the benefits to using them include the fact that these methods require less computing power and are still remarkably accurate.
“It's exciting to have the research recognized,” Goates said. “This is something that is often overlooked. Aerodynamicists these days tend to jump to high-fidelity methods, such as full computational fluid dynamics, which can be more accurate but require more computing power and time. They forget that there are older, faster, low-order methods they can use.”
Goates and Hunsaker have been working on this research with NASA and other university partners and will continue to work to improve these methods as part of Goates’s dissertation work.
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