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Aerospace Engineering pres.

Chair's Distinguished Lecture: Reduced-Order Model Framework for Thermochemical Non-equilibrium Hypersonic Flows

Robyn L. Macdonald, Postdoctoral Fellow, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics Department, University of Minnesota

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Robyn L. Macdonald, Postdoctoral Fellow, Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics Department, University of Minnesota

The gas flow around a hypersonic vehicle involves many different physical phenomena occurring on a broad range of time and length scales. In particular, non-equilibrium chemistry directly affects the heat transfer to the vehicle. The conventional approach to model chemical non-equilibrium was developed nearly 40 years ago and relies heavily on calibration with heritage experimental data. Recent advances in both computational chemistry and computational resources have enabled the construction of extremely detailed models for the chemical non-equilibrium effects based on ab initio quantum chemistry data, called the state-to-state (StS) approach. Unfortunately, due to their enormous cost StS calculations can only be used in highly simplified test cases. This motivates the development of reduced order models for chemical non-equilibrium. The model reduction framework proposed is based on the maximum-entropy principle, and leverages quasi-classical trajectory (i.e., atomistic) calculations to compute n-moment kinetic data for a reduced set of molecular states, thus providing the crucial link between the ab initio quantum chemistry data and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The talk covers the key aspects involved in model development, namely: the model reduction framework, the use of scattering calculations to integrate the ab initio data, and the application of the model to CFD.

About the Speaker

Dr. Robyn Macdonald received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 2013. In December 2018, she successfully defended her PhD thesis with her work titled “Reduced-order model framework for thermochemical non-equilibrium hypersonic flows”. Her PhD research focused on the development of quantum chemistry informed reduced order models for thermochemical non-equilibrium hypersonic flows. She is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Computational Hypersonics Research Lab at the University of Minnesota studying turbulence in hypersonic flows. Dr. Macdonald is recipient of National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship (2015); and her post-doctoral research is supported by the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (2018). During her PhD she received a number of awards: including the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship (declined to accept NDSEG), Zonta Amelia Earhart Fellowship (declined to accept NDSEG), and AE Faculty Outstanding Graduate Student Award from the department of Aerospace Engineering at UIUC. In addition, her work on reduced order models for thermochemical non-equilibrium, first presented at the AIAA Aviation Forum 2017, was awarded the Weaver Thermophysics Best Student Paper Award from AIAA as well as selected as Editor’s Pick when published in the Journal of Chemical Physics.
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