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Influence of Unsteady Parameters on the Aerodynamics of a Low Reynolds Number Pitching Airfoil

[+] Author Affiliations
M. R. Amiralaei, H. Alighanbari, S. M. Hashemi

Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, Canada

Paper No. IMECE2009-11827, pp. 323-329; 7 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Heat Transfer, Fluid Flows, and Thermal Systems, Parts A, B and C
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4382-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


The objective of the present study is to investigate low Reynolds number aerodynamics of a harmonically pitching NACA0012 airfoil. To this mean, the influence of some unsteady parameters; amplitude of oscillation, d, reduced frequency, k, and Reynolds number, Re, on the aerodynamic performance of the airfoil is investigated. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is utilized to solve Navier-Stokes equations discretized based on Finite Volume Method (FVM). The instantaneous lift coefficients are obtained and compared with analytical data from Theodorsen’s equations. The simulation results reveal that d, k, and Re are of great importance in the aerodynamic performance. They affect the maximum lift coefficients, hysteresis loops, strength and number of generated vortices within the harmonic motion, and the extent of the figure-eight phenomenon region. Thus, the optimum aerodynamic performance demands a careful selection of these parameters.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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