A n industry-backed team of engineers and mathematicians has launched an intensive study at Cambridge University into air turbulence and its effect on aircraft, large structures and the environment.
The purpose is to produce guidelines for the next generation of computer-based design models, aimed at reducing noise and environmental pollution.
The research programme has been organised by The Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE), chaired by Professor Julian Hunt, former chief executive of the Met Office. It is the first time the RAE has brought mathematicians and engineers together for such work.
Hunt’s team has until June to produce outline proposals for more accurate fluid flow analysis software using computational fluid dynamics.
The project’s industrial backers include British Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, BG Technology, Dera, BNFL Magnox Electric, the Met Office and Nuclear Electric, which have each contributed £20,000 to the research programme.
The cost of academics’ time is being met by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Nato Science Programme.
Construction firms Ove Arup and WS Atkins may also contribute to the study, as existing computer models lack the detail needed to assess turbulence’s impact on large structures
Interest in the project extends to mainland Europe, where funding has been made available by Ercofta, the professional body for computational fluid turbulence systems, and Isra, the Italian joint research centre.