Simulating Hypersonic Speeds


MSI PI Thomas Schwartzentruber (professor, Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics) and his collaborator Professor Graham Candler (Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics), who has also been an MSI PI, are featured in a recent story on the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) website. Professors Schwartzentruber and Candler use computer simulations to study the behavior of vehicles traveling at hypersonic speeds - greater than Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. Wind-tunnel experimentation at these speeds is difficult, making computer simulations valuable for this research. The professors are part of a $7.5 million multi-institution grant from the Office of Naval Research to study how small particles can impact hypersonic flight. The other institutions are the University of Maryland, University of Illinois, University of Hawai'i, and Stevens Institute of Technology. The story can be found on the CSE website: Faster Than the Speed of Sound.

Professor Schwartzentruber uses MSI for numerical simulations of complex gas flows for which the molecular nature of the gas must be explicitly accounted for, using particle simulation methods such as direct simulation Monte Carlo, kinetic Monte Carlo, and molecular dynamics. Two other University of Minnesota collaborators mentioned in the article are also MSI PIs: Professor Chris Hogan (Mechanical Engineering) and Regents Professor Donald Truhlar (Chemistry).