Can Wing Tip Vortices Be Accurately Simulated?
AIR FORCE FLIGHT TEST CENTER EDWARDS AFB CA
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Modeling and Simulation MS computational fluid dynamics CFD techniques were used to better understand wing tip vortices about a wing section. The CFD results were compared to experimental wind tunnel data derived from the University of Iowa Ref. 2. The experiment used Stereoscopic Particle Image Velocimetry SPIV to measure the flow field. The SPIV data from the experiment illustrates the vortex core development and behavior downstream of the trailing edge of the wing section. Three CFD simulations using various mesh sizes and time steps were completed and compared to the experimental results. Two dimensional plots of modeled local flow field velocity over freestream velocity were visualized using VisIt. VisIt is used to graphically represent the numerical results of the simulations. Once the MS results were visualized, the approximate vortex core size and position were measured and compared to the experimental data. The results show that the larger meshes closer approximate the experimental data. Further refinement of the mesh sizes in future simulations are expected to improve the approximate numerical solutions from the simulations, which would allow for more accurate predictions of vortex formation and behavior.