Platform Mechanics

Fluids Structures & Dynamics

Research focuses on manned and unmanned air and ground platforms as well as microsystem platforms interact with the environment and how internal components interact with each other. It includes research in fluid dynamics and, more specifically, aerodynamics, where concerns for flow control, interactional aerodynamics effects and multiphase flows are addressed from a maneuver perspective. Aerodynamics interests for the Army range from viscous, extremely low-speed flows for flapping wings to low-and high-subsonic flows over aircraft and slow projectiles to supersonic flows over high speed munitions. Additionally, the fluid-structure interactions associated with micro air vehicles, parachutes, and aeroelasticity issues are addressed. Structural dynamics includes loads and vibration of structures and mitigation technologies such as tuning frequencies, damping, or absorbers. Vehicle dynamics, research is focused on the control response times, stability, and handling qualities of the platform in steady state and during maneuvers, as well as the flight mechanics of air vehicles (the science associated with the propulsion rotating systems, rocket motors, and propeller and rotor blade systems) are also of interest in this area. Acoustics research focuses on sources of noise on the system and covers the noise generation and propagation from the platform for the purpose of sound mitigation of the maneuver. Finally, terramechanics is the study of the interaction between a platform and the ground, particularly when the ground is a non-solid surface such as sand, mud, or snow.

  • Fluid Dynamics (Aerodynamics)
  • Fluid Structure Interaction
  • Structural Dynamics
  • Vehicle and Multibody Dynamics
  • Aeromechanics/Flight Mechanics
  • Acoustics
  • Nonlinear Dynamics and Stability

Actuation and Mechanisms

Research focuses on the physical movement of a platform including the control surfaces and linkages, such as those currently required to move the rotor blade system on a helicopter, the propulsors, and other actuators or manipulators. Additionally, active control and multibody interactions from the mechanical perspective are considered.

  • Active Control
  • Reconfigurable structures
  • Propulsors
  • Manipulation
  • Actuation

Platform Configuration Concepts

Research examines advanced methods and tools for design and assessment of concept vehicles. The focus is on enhancing certainty, expanding capability, and exploring revolutionary interactive environments in support of early conceptual design of ground vehicles, fixed wing aircraft, and rotary wing aircraft. The research is not limited to the vehicle system; it extends down to component-level technologies and up to operation, maintenance, and sustainment activities driven by diverse, complex environments.

  • Design Decision Science
  • Technology Tradespace Exploration
  • Capability Based Assessment

Last Update / Reviewed: February 5, 2015