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Posted 10/2/2015 Printable Fact Sheet

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Engineering and Complex Systems

The Engineering and Complex Systems team within the Engineering and Information Science Branch leads the discovery and development of the fundamental and integrated science that advances future air and space flight. The broad goal of the division is to discover and exploit the critical fundamental science and knowledge that will shape the future of aerospace sciences. A key emphasis is the establishment of the foundations necessary to advance the integration or convergence of the scientific disciplines critical to maintaining technological superiority. A wide range of fundamental research addressing electronics, fluid dynamics, materials, propulsion, and structural mechanics are brought together in an effort to increase performance and achieve unprecedented operational capability. The division carries out its ambitious mission through leadership of an international, highly diverse and multidisciplinary research community to find, support, and foster new scientific discoveries that will ensure future novel innovations for the future U.S. Air Force.

The central research direction for this team focuses on meeting the basic research challenges related to future air and space flight by leading the discovery and development of fundamental science and engineering in the following research areas:


Program Description: The Aerothermodynamics portfolio seeks to cover key gaps on the fundamental scientific knowledge of high-speed, high temperature nonequilibrium flows required for enabling future U.S. Air Force capabilities including energy-efficient air and space systems, rapid global and regional response, and thermal/environmental management.

Research supported by this portfolio seeks to discover, characterize and leverage fundamental energy transfer mechanisms within high Mach number flows, shock interactions with boundary layers and other shocks, and flow-structure interactions, through a balanced investment in experimental, numerical and theoretical efforts.

Basic Research Objectives: Proposals are encouraged which leverage recent breakthroughs in other scientific disciplines and foster rapid research advancements. It is encouraged that proposed efforts contain a balanced combination of experiments, computations and theoretical efforts. For any experiments proposed, explain how they capture the most sensitive variables for the problem being studied and how they can be used for validation of numerical models. For any numerical efforts explain which the hardest variables to accurately predict are and how the results will be validated with relevant measurements. Innovative research is sought in all aspects of high Mach number, high temperature, nonequilibrium flows with particular interest in:

  • Shock/Boundary Layer, Shock-Shock, and Shock-Separation interactions for both external surfaces, and at the inlet and isolators for scramjets
  • Flow-structure interactions at hypervelocity conditions with special emphasis to create a balance between relevant experiments and state-of-the-art computations
  • Develop physics-based models for air ro-vibrational-dissociation and ro-vibrational-translational processes that can 1) be incorporated in CFD solvers without incurring orders of magnitude more time to solve a given problem and 2) be validated with experiments
  • Characterization and modeling of fundamental processes occurring between nonequilibrium flows and ablative surfaces.

Aerothermodynamics research is critical to the U.S. Air Force's interest in long-range and space operations. The size, weight, and performance of many systems, are strongly influenced by aerothermodynamics. Research areas of interest emphasize the characterization, prediction and control of critical phenomena to provide the scientific foundation for game-changing advancements in aerodynamics, thermal and acoustic management, propulsion, and directed energy.

Researchers are highly encouraged to contact the Program Officer prior to developing full proposals to briefly discuss the current state-of-the-art, how the proposed effort is different from prior and current AFOSR programs in related areas, how the proposed effort would advance the state-of-the-art, and the approximate yearly cost for a 3-5 year effort.

Dr. Ivett A Leyva (703) 696-8478
DSN 426-8478; FAX (703) 696-7320
Email: aerothermodynamics@us.af.mil

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Dynamic Materials and Interactions

Program Description: The objective of the Dynamic Materials and Interactions portfolio is to develop fundamental scientific knowledge of the dynamic chemistry and physics of complex materials, particularly energetic materials. The portfolio focuses on energetic materials science and shock physics of heterogeneous materials. Research supported by this portfolio seeks to discover, characterize, and leverage (1) fundamental chemistry, physics, and materials science associated with energetic materials; and (2) fundamental shock physics and materials science associated with complex, heterogeneous materials. The research will be accomplished through a balanced mixture of experimental, numerical, and theoretical efforts. This is required for revolutionary advancements in future Air Force weapons and propulsion capabilities including increased energy density and survivability in harsh environments.

Basic Research Objectives: Research proposals are sought in all aspects of the chemistry and physics of energetic materials with particular emphasis placed on chemistry-microstructure relationships and the exploitation of fundamental shock physics in heterogeneous materials. Efforts that leverage recent breakthroughs in other scientific disciplines to foster rapid research advancements are also encouraged. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Mesoscale experiments, and associated models, to understand initiation in energetic materials;
  • Predictive processing-structure-property relationships in energetic materials, including reactive materials by design;
  • Detonation physics, particularly the steady state reacting front propagating in energetic materials;
  • High strain rate and shock response of polymers, composites, and geologic materials;
  • Shock loading and mechanical response of energetic crystals;
  • High energy density materials that overcome the CHNO limitations, including scale-up techniques required for gram-scale characterization of materials;
  • Bridging length scales in energetic and other heterogeneous materials.
Energetic materials research is critical to the development of next-generation Air Force weapon capabilities. The energy content and sensitivity of these systems are influenced by the energetic materials utilized. Research areas of interest emphasize the characterization, prediction, and control of critical phenomena which will provide the scientific foundation for game-changing advancements in munitions development and propulsion. Researchers are highly encouraged to contact the Program Officer prior to developing full proposals to briefly discuss the current state-of-the-art, how the proposed effort would advance it, and the approximate cost for a three to five year effort.

Dr. Jennifer L. Jordan (703) 588-8436
DSN 425-8436; FAX (703) 696-7320
Email: dynamicmaterials@afosr.af.mil

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Flow Interactions and Control

Program Description: The Flow Interactions and Control portfolio supports basic research into the dynamics and control of aerodynamic shear flows, including the interactions of these flows with rigid and flexible surfaces. The portfolio is interested in aerodynamic interactions arising in both internal and external flows and extending over a wide range of Reynolds numbers. The portfolio seeks to advance fundamental understanding of complex, time-dependent flow interactions by integrating theoretical/analytical, numerical, and experimental approaches. The focus on the understanding of the fundamental flow physics is motivated by an interest in developing physically-based predictive models and innovative control concepts for these flows. Research in this portfolio is motivated, in part, by the unique fluid-structure interactions that are found in nature, in vortex and shear layer flows, and on novel aerodynamic configurations.

Basic Research Objectives: The portfolio emphasizes the characterization, modeling/prediction, and control of flow instabilities, turbulent fluid motions, and fluid-structure interactions for both bounded and free-shear flows with application to surfaces in actuated motion, rigid and flexible aerodynamic surfaces, vortical flows, and flows with novel geometric configurations. Note however that basic research of the variety typically funded by the portfolio may not yet have a clear transition path to an application. The portfolio maintains an interest in the dynamic interaction between unsteady fluid motion, nonlinear structural deformations, and aerodynamic control effectors for a wide range of flight regimes. Although the portfolio places a strong emphasis on flow control, studies examining fundamental flow physics with a path to enabling control of the flow are also of interest. Studies integrating modeling, control theory, and advanced sensor and/or actuator technology for application to a flow of interest are encouraged. Flow control studies are expected to involve a feedback approach based on a fundamental insight into the flow dynamics. The integration of theoretical, numerical, and experimental tools to improve understanding is encouraged.

Researchers are highly encouraged to contact the Program Officer prior to developing full proposals to briefly discuss the current state-of-the-art, how the proposed effort would advance it, and the approximate yearly cost for a three to five year effort.

Email: Flow.Control@afosr.af.mil

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GHz-THz Electronics

Program Description: This program seeks scientific breakthroughs in materials and devices that can lead to game-changing capabilities in RF sensing and amplification, transmit/receive functions, wideband operation, reconfigurability, and novel functionality. The primary frequencies of interest range from GHz to THz.

Basic Research Objectives: The focus of the portfolio is on understanding and exploiting fundamental interactions of electrons and quasiparticles with each other and their host materials in all regions of device operation. Technical challenges include understanding and controlling (1) interactions between particles/quasiparticles and the host lattices, boundaries, and defects, including thermal effects and changes over time that limit lifetime and performance; (2) carrier velocity; (3) dielectric properties and electric field distributions within the dielectrics; and (4) new methods of device operation that do not rely solely on conventional transistors or transport mechanisms such as drift, diffusion, and tunneling. Included are carrier transport and properties in regimes in which transport is not limited by scattering mechanisms. Efficiency, volume, and raw speed matter, but other figures of merit, such as speed or energy of computation, are also of interest. A subarea of interest is two-dimensional materials other than graphene as enablers for high-speed electronics, with focus on bandgap engineering and the unique properties of these materials and heterostructures as basic building blocks for new devices. Research into devices based on materials that perform multiple electronic, magnetic, and optical functions is of interest. It is expected that in order to fully understand the various new phenomena and device configurations, novel techniques to study and control nanoscale structures, defects, and operations must be developed. Before developing white papers or full proposals, researchers are highly encouraged to contact the Program Officer to discuss the current state-of-the-art, how the proposed effort would advance it, and the approximate cost for a three- to five-year effort.

Dr. Kenneth C. Goretta (703) 696-7349
DSN 426-7349; FAX (703) 696-8450
Email: GHz.THz@afosr.af.mil

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Energy Conversion and Combustion Sciences

Program Description: This portfolio addresses energy needs for propulsion systems and their supporting sub-systems. The portfolio emphasizes three key attributes: Fundamental, Relevant, and Game-Changing, focusing on establishing fundamental understanding and quantifying rate-controlling processes in Air Force relevant energy processes, leading to game-changing concepts and predictive capabilities in Air Force relevant regimes. Multi-disciplinary collaborations and interactions are strongly desired, and joint experimental, theoretical and numerical efforts are highly appreciated.

Researchers are encouraged to submit white papers (max 4 pages) via email prior to developing full proposals. White papers should describe innovative nature (advancing the state of art) of the proposed efforts, focusing on clearly presenting logics and underlying scientific basis of the proposed approach. Researchers with white papers showing significant fundamental, relevant, and game-changing attributes will be invited to submit full proposals.

Basic Research Objectives: Research proposals are sought in all aspects of Air Force relevant energy storage/conversion research, combustion and otherwise and evaluated according to their strength in fundamental, relevant and game-changing aspects, with the following emphases:

(1) Turbulent Combustion the primary energy conversion process in most existing propulsion systems such as jet engine, rocket, hypersonic and large UAV systems. It is one of most important processes in determining operability, performance, size and weight of such systems. It is also one of least understood areas in basic combustion research with, in general, rather large model/prediction uncertainties. In this area, the research focus is on quantifying rate-controlling processes and scales. Proposals will be considered with priority in the following areas:

  • Understanding key turbulent combustion phenomena: Including but not limited to: flame structure and propagation, flammability limit, combustion instability, and ignition. Understanding, quantifying and controlling turbulence properties of the underlying flow conditions are essential. Those conditions should be relevant to Air Force propulsion interests, with emphases on highly-turbulent, high-pressure, multiphase and trans-/super-critical conditions relevant to future Air Force propulsion systems.
  • Establishing physics-based foundation for predictive turbulence combustion models: based on the first principle and experimental observation/data closely reflecting key features of the underlying phenomena to be modeled, validating and further developing basic model assumptions that are key model building blocks, with a particular emphasis on understanding and quantifying impacts of combustion and fluid processes at sub-grid scales on those at LES resolvable scales, leading to the scientific foundation for developing and validating scientifically and properly constructed sub-grid turbulence combustion models;
  • Diagnostics for (1) New game-changing signal generating processes and related basic spectroscopic approaches for key physical and chemical properties in chemically reacting flows; (2) High-frequency, 3-d (volumetric or scanning 2-d) imaging for transient, turbulent flame and flow structures at required temporal and spatial scales. In the both above (1) and (2), there are strong interests in diagnostics at high pressure multiphase and trans-/super-critical conditions relevant to future Air Force propulsion systems;
  • Numerical algorithms and tools for (1) Addressing specific needs in simulations for the turbulent reacting flows due to its complex multi-physics nature and (2) Combined experimental-numerical approaches using simulations directly coupled with experimental data to reduce the simulation uncertainty and to obtain quantitative information which is otherwise not available through experimental measurements alone.

(2) Combustion Chemistry the key element governing the underlying molecular system changes and energy conversion in the combustion process. The research focuses on developing physics-based approaches for identifying rate-controlling reaction pathways and building combustion chemistry models of quantifiable and acceptable uncertainty with reasonable size for the turbulent, reactive flow simulation. Emphasized areas are as follows:

  • Physics based (experimental, theoretical and computational) approaches to understand the combustion process of complex molecular systems such as real HC fuels, including jet fuels consisting of many molecular components, focusing on identifying, describing and quantifying key stochastic reaction pathways in those complex combustion chemical reaction systems and developing a new generation of accurate and computational efficient reaction mechanisms based on those key reaction pathways;
  • Experimental techniques and diagnostics: (1) Ultra-fast (e.g. using ultra-short pulse laser) and other optical approaches for quantitatively observing histories of species, temperature and properties in key parts of the combustion processes such as those in the initial break-up of fuel molecules crucial to identifying key reaction pathways in the jet fuel combustion (2) Other necessary experiments for identifying reaction pathways and quantifying reaction model parameters;
  • Quantifying the uncertainty of research approaches in combustion chemistry and resulting models, especially in the following aspects: (1) Uncertainties due to the empiricism and ad hoc features with the purpose of minimizing such empiricism and ad hoc features, (2) Understanding relationship between the model size and model uncertainty and (3) Uncertainties in combustion chemistry experiments;
  • Ab initio constrained approaches for optimization and reduction of combustion chemistry models.

(3) Game-Changing Energy Conversion Processes and Energy Storage Concepts: Here, we are looking for innovative, unconventional fresh approaches to store and convert energy for aviation and other Air Force relevant applications. Potential sub- areas include but not limited to:

  • Combustion at extreme time-scales such as detonation and flameless/ mild combustion;
  • Innovative thermal-dynamic or energy conversion cycles, particularly for UAVs;
  • Non-thermal, reduced-thermal and hybrid energy conversion processes, possibly of non-equilibrium nature, for future propulsion and subsystems.
  • Multi-functional energy conversion processes: (1) Understanding/quantification of energy needs and conversion processes in propulsion-supporting subsystems such as resource supply, control, sensing, guidance and navigation as well as information processing and establishing the thermodynamics foundation for those sub-systems and processes and (2) Approaches and algorithms for minimizing the energy consumption of those sub-systems;
  • Multi-functional fuels: (1) Endothermic fuels and systems and (2) Aviation fuels and energy systems with favorable source characteristics.

Dr. Chiping Li (703) 696-8574
(DSN) 426-8574; FAX (703) 696-7320
Email: Energy@afosr.af.mil

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Low Density Materials

Program Description: Reducing the weight of aerospace platforms reduces costs and emissions while increasing payload capacity and performance. The AFOSR Low Density Materials portfolio supports transformative, basic research in materials design and processing to enable weight reductions with concurrent enhancements in performance and function. Such materials can transform the design of future U.S. Air Force aerospace and cyber systems for applications which include airframes, space vehicles, satellites, and load-bearing components and systems. Key scientific areas supported by the program include: materials discovery, processing and characterization; nanotechnology; integrated computational material science and engineering; composite and hybrid materials processing; and interface/phase science.

Among the routes to achieving game-changing improvements in low density materials currently emphasized within the program are 1) materials discovery and processing to increase performance properties of structural materials, e.g., matrix resins and reinforcing fibers and nanoparticulates; 2) multiscale modeling of material degradation mechanisms to improve material life prediction capability and minimize overdesign of load-bearing structures; 3) understanding the impact of nanoscale porosity on mechanical properties; and 4) the creation and interfacial understanding of hybrid structures that combine materials of different classes, scales, and properties to provide synergistic and tailorable performance.

Basic Research Objectives: Proposals are sought that advance our understanding of hierarchical or hybrid materials and our ability to design, model and fabricate multi-material, multi-scale, multi-functional material systems with a high degree of precision and efficiency. Fundamental research targeting materials that may engender multifunctionality such as high strength plus electrical and thermal transport properties and/or adaptivity to enable active aerospace structures is also a keen program interest. Material classes may be polymeric, ceramic, or metallic, possibly combining synthetic and biological species to engender lightweight structural integrity and multifuctionality.

Researchers are highly encouraged to contact the Program Officer prior to developing full proposals to briefly discuss the current state-of-the-art, how the proposed effort would advance it, and the approximate yearly cost for a three to five year effort.

Dr. Joycelyn Harrison (703) 696-6225
DSN 426-6225; FAX (703) 696-7320
Email: LDMaterials@afosr.af.mil

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Multi-Scale Structural Mechanics and Prognosis

Program Description: This fundamental basic research program addresses the U.S. Air Force needs in the following application areas: 1) New and revolutionary flight structures, 2) Multi-scale modeling and prognosis and 3) Structural dynamics under non-stationary conditions and extreme environments. Other game-changing and revolutionary structural mechanics problems relevant to the U.S. Air Force are also of interest.

The structural mechanics program encourages fundamental basic research that will generate understanding, models, analytical tools, numerical codes, and predictive methodologies validated by carefully conducted experiments. The program seeks to establish the fundamental understanding required to design and manufacture new aerospace materials and structures and to predict their performance and integrity based on mechanics principles.

Basic Research Objectives: Fundamental basic research issues for new and revolutionary flight structures include: revolutionary structural concepts and unprecedented flight configurations; hybrid structures of dissimilar materials (metallic, composite, ceramic, etc.) with multi-material joints and/or interfaces under dynamic loads, and extreme environments; controlled-flexibility distributed-actuation smart structures. The predictive analysis and durability prognosis of hybrid-material structures that synergistically combine the best attributes of metals, composites, and ceramics, while avoiding their inherit shortcomings are of great interest.

Fundamental basic research issues of interest for multi-scale modeling and prognosis include: physics-based models that quantitatively predict the materials performance and durability of metallic and composite flight structures operating at various regimes; modeling and prediction of the structural flaws distribution and service-induced damage on each aircraft and at fleet level; structural analysis that accounts for variability due to materials, processing, fabrication, maintenance actions, changing mission profiles; novel and revolutionary on-board health monitoring and embedded NDE concepts.

Fundamental basic research issues for structural dynamics include: control of dynamic response of extremely flexible nonlinear structures; control of unsteady energy flow in nonlinear structures during various flight conditions; nonlinear dynamics and vibration control of thin-wall structures of functionally graded hybrid materials with internal vascular networks under extreme loading conditions.

Researchers are highly encouraged to contact the Program Officer prior to developing full proposals to briefly discuss the current state-of-the-art, how the proposed effort would advance it, and the approximate yearly cost for a three to five year effort.

Dr. David Stargel (703) 696-6961
DSN 426-6961; FAX (703) 696-7320
Email: Structural.Mech@afosr.af.mil

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Space Power and Propulsion

Program Description: Research activities are focused as multi-disciplinary, multi-physics, multi-scale approach to complex problems, and fall into four areas: Coupled Material and Plasma Processes Far From Equilibrium, Nanoenergetics, High Pressure Combustion Dynamics, and Electrospray Physics.

Basic Research Objectives: Research in the first area is to significantly advance the state-of-the-art in our ability to understand the fundamental aspects of a coupled plasma/material system in non-equilibrium states, for a variety of potential applications. The typical conditions of interest are characterized by critical phenomena in small spatial and temporal scales which affect the behavior over a much wider range of scales. Detailed understanding and control of non-equilibrium and multiscale effects have the potential to overcome the limitations of traditional plasma in thermodynamic equilibrium, leading to improved system designs; preventing or leveraging dynamic features such as instabilities, coherent structures, and turbulence; and realizing chemical pathways, structural changes or electromagnetic processes for novel devices with unprecedented level of control. Research in second area is the ability to possess smart, functional nano-energetics for propulsion purposes only. There has been tremendous progress in the synthesis and fabrication of nanosized reactive materials. With significant advances in quantum chemistry and molecular dynamics over the last decade, as well as a broader understanding of the properties of nanomaterials, it may now be feasible to design a priori nanostructured reactive materials to perform a given function and then produce them in the laboratory according to the design, in order to avoid simply reacting in an uncontrolled fashion. Smart nanoenergetics may be activated by temperature, pressure, the presence of a particular chemical compound, or external electromagnetic stimuli, such as an electrical field or light. By smart, it may be desirable to initiate a reaction at a particular temperature, to release a particular compound at a particular temperature, to turn on or turn off a reaction, have tailored ignition properties, or to accelerate or slow a reaction with time or location. Research in the third area is to allow the Air Force to capitalize on the higher efficiencies, and increased performance options made possible by taking rocket and other propulsion systems to increasingly extreme pressures. As this necessarily pushes materials and structures to correspondingly extreme limits, it becomes essential to take into consideration the dynamics of combustion processes, because higher pressures lead to increasing coherent dynamic aerothermochemical events that convert thermal energy to thrust in a wider spectrum of time scales. Mathematical and experimental analysis also leads to a "big data" problem. It becomes necessary to combine and dynamically integrate multi-fidelity simulations and experimental probing or monitoring to systematically perform modeling, analytics, stochastic modeling, and dynamic data driven validation for chemical propulsion. Research in fourth area involves charged droplets and molecular ions that are emitted from the meniscus of a conducting liquid due to a strong electric field. A sufficiently strong electrostatic stress can cause either of two behaviors: (1) an aerosol of charged liquid droplets can be extracted from the surface and accelerated away by the field, or (2) single molecular or atomic ions can be 'field evaporated' from the liquid into the gas phase and accelerated away by the field. Research is sought to control multiphase liquid electrospray that can be used for nanoenergetic material processing, propulsion, and other applications.

All fundamental research ideas relating to space propulsion and power are of interest to this program in addition to the examples given above, but researchers should also consult the programs in Plasma and Electro-Energetic Physics, Aerospace Materials for Extreme Environments, Theoretical Chemistry and Molecular Dynamics, Thermal Sciences, Computational Mathematics, and other programs as described in this Broad Area Announcement to find the best match for the research in question. Researchers are highly encouraged to consult (https://community.apan.org/afosr/w/researchareas/default.aspx), for the latest information.

Dr. Mitat A. Birkan (703) 696-7234
DSN 426-7234; FAX (703) 696-7320
Email: Space.Power@afosr.af.mil

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Test Science for Test and Evaluation (T&E)

Program Description: The T&E program supports basic research which will build the foundation for future revolutionary capabilities that address the identified needs of the T&E Community. As new technologies emerge, the ability to test new capabilities as they are assimilated into applied R&D is a critical part of the development process. The T&E Program sponsors basic research in areas that enable such testing and areas that allow the correct and comprehensive interpretation of test results. Fast and effective Test Science and Test Engineering lead to: improved ability to identify problems, understand causes, and recommend solutions; reduced product development time; improved quality; improved performance; better acquisition program decisions; increased acquisition program flexibility; meeting schedule deadlines; reduce test-and-fix cycle costs; reaching or exceeding performance goals; and superior products. The current T&E Program encompasses five broadly-defined, overlapping thrust areas: Hypersonics, Aeroelasticity and Aerodynamics, Sensors and Electromagnetics, Information and Data Management and Fusion, and Enabling Materials. The Program is closely aligned with many other AFOSR program interests, but with special emphasis on aspects of basic research that lead to revolutionary advances in areas such as metrology and test science.

Basic Research Objectives: The T&E Program is closely engaged with technical experts at Air Force Developmental Test and Evaluation organizations located at Edwards, Arnold, and Eglin Air Force Bases, who help advise the program on basic research objectives. Basic research in areas that advance the science of testing is broadly defined and spans mathematics as well as most disciplines in engineering and the physical sciences. Areas include:

  • Novel measurement techniques, materials, and instruments that enable accurate, rapid, and reliable test data collection of physical, chemical, mechanical, and flow parameters in extreme environments, such as those encountered during transonic flight, hypersonic flight, and the terminal portion of weapons engagement
  • Accurate, fast, robust, integratable models of the aforementioned that reduce requirements to test or help provide greater understanding of test results
  • Advanced algorithms and computational techniques that are applicable to new generations of computers, including massively parallel, quantum, and neuromorphic machines
  • Advanced algorithms and test techniques that allow rapid and accurate assessment of devices and software to cyber vulnerability
  • New processes and devices that increase bandwidth utilization and allow rapid, secure transfer of test data to control facilities during test, with special emphasis on telemetry
  • Advanced mathematical techniques that improve design of experiment or facilitate confident comparison of similar but disparate tests
  • Advanced models of test equipment and processes that improve test reliability and efficiency
  • New or advanced technologies that enable the test process
  • Basic research in other T&E technical areas that advances the science of test and contributes to the development of knowledge, skills, and abilities of the established or emerging AF T&E workforce.

Dr. Michael Kendra (703) 588-0671
DSN 425-0671; FAX (703) 696-7320
Email: TandE@afosr.af.mil

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Turbulence and Transition

Program Description: The Turbulence and Transition portfolio supports basic research and development of the fundamental fluid flow-physics knowledge-base required for revolutionary advancements in a broad variety of future U.S. Air Force capabilities. These include aerodynamically-efficient aerospace systems, rapid global and regional response, and management of hypersonic and high-temperature environments. Research supported by this portfolio seeks to characterize, model, exploit and control critical fluid dynamic phenomena associated with external/internal wall-bounded flows through integrated approaches comprised of experimental, numerical and theoretical efforts.

Basic Research Objectives: Innovative research is sought in all aspects of turbulent and transitional flows with particular interest in efforts that explore the dynamics within high-Mach number viscous flows. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Turbulence studies - structure and growth, unsteady flow field characterization, effects of micro/macro particles in free stream, wall roughness, curvature, angle of attack, etc.
  • Receptivity - initial value versus Eigen value approaches for transition prediction, laminar-turbulent stability, transition and turbulence in high-Mach number boundary layers, especially approaches leading to greater insight into surface heat transfer.
  • Multimode transition and flow field - analysis and effects on transition prediction.
  • Diagnostics for the flow field - advanced sensing methods/ approaches and tools to measure both the shock layer and the free stream disturbances.

The behavior of viscous flows impacts the performance of all aerodynamic, propulsion, and environmental management systems and frequently determines the environment experienced by the system structure. The development of accurate methods for predicting the behavior of transitional and turbulent flows across a wide range of flow conditions will facilitate the design of future systems with optimized performance and energy-efficiency. Research areas of interest emphasize the characterization, prediction and control of high-Mach number fluid dynamic phenomena which will provide the scientific foundation for game-changing advancements in aerodynamics, environmental (thermal and acoustic) management, propulsion, and directed energy science areas.

Researchers are highly encouraged to contact the Program Officer prior to developing full proposals to briefly discuss the current state-of-the-art, how the proposed effort would advance it, and the approximate yearly cost for a three to five year effort.

Dr. Rengasamy Ponnappan (703) 696-9558
DSN 426-9558; FAX (703) 696-7320
Email: Turbulence@afosr.af.mil

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