UCSD Flow Control Lab

Introduction

The research interests of the UCSD Flow Control Lab focus on the control, estimation, forecasting, and optimization of laminar and turbulent flows. This work involves a blend of:
• large-scale simulations of chaotic fluid systems,
• modern linear and nonlinear control, estimation, and optimization theory for large-scale problems,
• characterization of controlled fluid systems with the inequalities available for Navier-Stokes systems, and
• the merging of these several tools in order to provide new insights into fundamental open problems in the control, estimation, and forecasting of unsteady fluid systems.

We consider a broad range of applictions of these techniques, including
• identifying, estimating, and forecasting the movement of contaminant release plumes in environmental flows,
• optimizing the motion of sensor-laden UAVs, UGVs, and UUVs (including underactuated balloons and floats, which can be moved vertically on command in an effective manner to leverage the stratification of a given flowfield in which they drift) in order to perform accurate state estimation,
• estimating (via wall skin friction and wall pressure measurements) and controlling (via wall transpiration) near-wall transitional and turbulent flows,
• applying feedback control based on a dynamic model of the roll-up of the vortices over the wing in order to stabilize a small UAV when perching,
• optimizing gas concentrations in high-power DUV laser systems for silicon chip manufacturing,
• tuning porous-media heat exchangers for the efficient liquid cooling (single-phase or two-phase) of high-density electronics,
• redesigning jet engine exhaust nozzles for reduced far-field noise, and
• optimizing the compliance properties of tensegrity fabrics for improved flow/structure interactions (reduced drag, reduced noise, etc.).

The information available at the various pages of this website, accessible through the drop-down menus above, should give the reader a good flavor of the types of problems we are interested in, though it is not a complete summary of our current activities.