Supersonic Configurations at Low Speeds

Researcher : Thiago Augusto Machado Guimaraes

Sponsor : NASA


The growing interest in high-speed supersonic vehicles has stimulated research into unconventional vehicle configurations exploiting modern technologies (lightweight structures, innovative propulsion systems, advanced control, automation techniques, and energy storage-generation utilization). Despite much progress made, numerous challenges still exist for supersonic flight-capable vehicles such as the next generation of commercial aircraft. In particular, the aircraft’s nonlinear aerodynamic and aeroelastic behaviors may lead to instabilities and controllability issues while flying at low speeds at high angles of attack.

Our top level goals are:

  • Study the impact of low-speed design constraints on the shaping of efficient long-range supersonic configuration, considering the tradeoffs between the low speed and high-speed design drivers.
  • Explore and enhance lower-fidelity aerodynamic modeling approaches enabling the parametric representation of several supersonic configurations at low speeds.
  • Generate nonlinear aerodynamic data to feed the development of appropriate stability and control approaches.
  • Parametric design exploration and open loop aeroelastic flight dynamics simulations subject to gust disturbances.
  • Assess aeroelastic-flight dynamic analysis under gust encounters considering parametric analysis for fuselage flexibility levels.


Sobol – Sensitivity Analysis