PhD Studentship: The use of channel wings for slow speed UAV flight

United Kingdom
Feb 01, 2016
Jan 27, 2017
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

PhD Studentship: The use of channel wings for slow speed UAV flight

Aeronautics, Astronautics & Computational Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:   Friday 27 January 2017
Reference:  686016AK

Project Reference: NGCM-0041

This project will make use of massively parallel computing and 3D printing (selective laser sintering) to open up the possibilty of a new generation of slow speed flight UAVs by using Custer Channel wing ducts. Although such wings have been known about for 50 years they have, as yet, not been applied to small UAVs where they should allow very short take-off and landing capabilities. However to design effective systems the air-flow thorugh the ducts must be carefully modelled using advanced CFD methods.

At the same time it is well known that to design such systems using deterministic CFD methods allowance must be made for the inevitable variabilities experienced in real systems. Simple one shot designh calculations can be highly misleading giving poor performance in practice. This project will adopt next generation robust design processes using sparse quadrature methods to efficiently estimate ensemble behaviour of multiple goals and constraints using massively parallel computational approaches. Measured aerodynamic data taken from wind tunnel and flight trials will be used to ensure realistic analyses can be performed. These will be carried out at a range of modelling scales and linked via multi-fidelity meta-models to a series of experimental tests on 3D printed test specimens. This will be ground breaking work in the use of computational modelling and design optimization tools for robust design and will result in novel and advanced wing designs.

The resulting slow flight UAV will be flight trialled as part of this work.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof Andy Keane, CED research group. Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 23 8059 2944.

This project is run through participation in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Next Generation Computational Modelling ( For details of our 4 Year PhD programme, please see

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