U.S. DoD Funds Professor Hemati's Research Project

University of Minnesota Sign with flowers

The U.S. Department of Defense has selected to fund Professor Maziar Hemati’s research project, “Certifiable Transition Prediction and Control.”

This project is in collaboration with Professor Peter Seiler at the University of Michigan. The goal is to develop a framework to certify the efficacy, reliability, and performance of feedback flow control laws without relying on resource intensive direct numerical simulations or physical experiments. The research project will focus on certification of controllers designed to suppress laminar-to-turbulent transition in wall bounded shear flows.

An ability to delay transition from laminar to turbulent flow would enable efficiency and performance enhancements in a variety of internal and external flow configurations.  Laminar flows exhibit a lesser degree of skin-friction drag relative to turbulent flow; thus, reliably maintaining laminar flow over the lifting surfaces of a flight vehicle, for example, would directly result in increased range and endurance, improved fuel economy, lower aircraft weight, weakened sonic boom signatures, and reduced aerodynamic heating.

Hemati’s research group has been formulating new flow control solutions for transition suppression and delay.  However, certifying the performance of these flow control strategies is a daunting task and an open challenge.  Transition involves complex flow interactions that make it notoriously difficult to predict, and the challenge is compounded when flow control is introduced into the mix.

“This effort will explore how to effectively provide certifiable measures of stability and robustness for the control of complex, high-dimensional systems,” said Dr. Matthew Munson, program manager at the Army Research Office, an element of U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory. “This framework could offer a way to develop effective non-linear control strategies for turbulent flows. As the majority of U.S. Army vehicle and weapon systems operate in the presence of turbulent flow, this work has opportunity to have broad impact on the performance of such systems.”

The project runs Junes 1, 2020 through May 31, 2022.

Overall, Professor Hemati's research aims to develop efficient and reliable strategies for the modeling, sensing, and control of fluid flows that arise in various engineering applications. Hemati received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2013 and has been a faculty member with the University of Minnesota, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics since 2015. He was recently awarded the NSF CAREER Award (2020) and the AFOSR Young Investigator Award (2019).