Simulations reveal how droplets and turbulence interact

Simulations reveal how droplets and turbulence interact

Lambda 2 figure opaque drops

Antonino Ferrante

A&A Ph.D. candidate Michael Dodd and Professor Antonino Ferrante (principal investigator of the Computational Fluid Mechanics group) are unraveling the complex physical mechanisms of droplet-turbulence interaction. The results of their research have been published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics (Dodd & Ferrante, Vol. 806, pp. 356-412, J. Fluid Mechanics (2016)) in an article titled, “On the interaction of Taylor length scale size droplets and isotropic turbulence.”

The question of how droplets and turbulence interact is important in numerous applications ranging from rain formation to oil spills to spray combustion. Dodd & Ferrante have advanced the fundamental understanding of droplet-turbulence interaction by developing and performing state-of-the-art simulations on supercomputers. They have described the pathways in which kinetic energy is exchanged between a turbulent flow and droplets by deriving the equations for the evolution of turbulence kinetic energy of the droplet-laden turbulent flow. Such knowledge can be used to improve the predictive capabilities of computational models used in engineering design.

a diagram showing the interation between surface energy, turbulent kinetic energy, and internal energy

The research of the Computational Fluid Mechanics group in the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics is led by Professor Ferrante, and this research has been funded by his NSF CAREER Award.

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