"Ansys Fluent allowed us to implement, verify, and validate the theory of using partial pressure fields (PPFs) for aircraft drag decomposition which has the potential to improving our collective understanding of the various sources of drag and their interference.”
—Sven Schmitz Boeing, A.D Welliver Professor, The Pennsylvania State University
Drag decomposition into profile, induced, and wave drag is a valuable tool for analysis and design of current and future aircraft configurations. Traditionally, drag decomposition is performed in the farfield (e.g., Maskell’s induced drag formula or Oswatitsch’s entropy integral). A novel concept based on partial pressure fields (PPFs) allows for a drag decomposition in the nearfield, thereby providing phenomenological pressure fields as opposed to single-valued integrals.
The long-term goal is to have a reliable means of aircraft drag decomposition that applies equally to current and future aircraft configurations (e.g., blended wing-body, integrated propulsion systems, etc.) and is unambiguous to the particular choice of integration planes. The required software had to be both capable of overset meshes for quantitative comparisons to farfield drag integration and able to supply user-defined Poisson equations to solve for the PPFs.