Research in Aerospace
Open to suitably qualified undergraduates and first-year graduate students under the direction of the staff. Credit is based on the satisfactory completion of a substantive research report, which must be approved by the Ae 100 adviser and by the option representative.
Fundamentals of fluid mechanics. Microscopic and macroscopic properties of liquids and gases; the continuum hypothesis; review of thermodynamics; general equations of motion; kinematics; stresses; constitutive relations; vorticity, circulation; Bernoulli's equation; potential flow; thin-airfoil theory; surface gravity waves; buoyancy-driven flows; rotating flows; viscous creeping flow; viscous boundary layers; introduction to stability and turbulence; quasi one-dimensional compressible flow; shock waves; unsteady compressible flow; and acoustics.
Mechanics of Structures and Solids
Introduction to continuum mechanics: kinematics, balance laws, constitutive laws with an emphasis on solids. Static and dynamic stress analysis. Two- and three-dimensional theory of stressed elastic solids. Wave propagation. Analysis of rods, plates and shells with applications in a variety of fields. Variational theorems and approximate solutions. Elastic stability.
Aerospace Control Systems
Part a: Linear state space systems, including concepts of controllability/reachability and observability. State feedback and optimal control. Frequency domain tools (Bode plots, Nyquist analysis, input/output performance). Part b: Optimization-based design of control systems, including optimal control and receding horizon control. Introductory random processes and optimal estimation. Kalman filtering and nonlinear filtering methods for autonomous systems.
Lectures on experiment design and implementation. Measurement methods, transducer fundamentals, instrumentation, optical systems, signal processing, noise theory, analog and digital electronic fundamentals, with data acquisition and processing systems. Experiments (second and third terms) in solid and fluid mechanics with emphasis on current research methods.
Part a: Design of space missions based on astrodynamics. Topics include conic orbits with perturbations (J2, drag, and solar radiation pressure), Lambert's Theorem, periodic orbits and ground tracks, invariant manifolds, and the variational equation with mission applications to planetary flybys, constellation, formation flying, and low energy planetary capture and landing. Part b: Introduction to spacecraft systems and subsystems, mission design, rocket mechanics, launch vehicles, and space environments; spacecraft mechanical, structural, and thermal design; communication and power systems; preliminary discussion and setup for team project leading to system requirements review. Part c: Team project leading to preliminary design review and critical design review.
Numerical methods and techniques for solving initial boundary value problems in continuum mechanics (from heat conduction to statics and dynamics of solids and structures). Finite difference methods, direct methods, variational methods, finite elements in small strains and at finite deformation for applications in structural mechanics and solid mechanics. Solution of the partial differential equations of heat transfer, solid and structural mechanics, and fluid mechanics. Transient and nonlinear problems. Computational aspects and development and use of finite element code. Not offered 2022-23.
This course will survey all aspects of modern spacecraft navigation, including astrodynamics, tracking systems for both low-Earth and deep-space applications (including the Global Positioning System and the Deep Space Network observables), and the statistical orbit determination problem (in both the batch and sequential Kalman filter implementations). The course will describe some of the scientific applications directly derived from precision orbital knowledge, such as planetary gravity field and topography modeling. Numerous examples drawn from actual missions as navigated at JPL will be discussed. Not offered 2022-23.
Physics of Thermal and Mass Transport in Hydrodynamic Systems
Contemporary research in many areas of physics requires some knowledge of how momentum transport in fluids couples to diffusive phenomena driven by thermal or concentration gradients. This course will first examine processes driven purely by diffusion and progress toward description of systems governed by steady and unsteady convection-diffusion and reaction-diffusion. Topics will include Fickian dynamics, thermal transfer in Peltier devices, Lifshitz-Slyozov growth during phase separation, thermocouple measurements of oscillatory fields, reaction-diffusion phenomena in biophysical systems, buoyancy driven flows, and boundary layer formation. Students must have working knowledge of vector calculus, ODEs, PDEs, complex variables and basic tensor analysis. Advanced solution methods such as singular perturbation, Sturm-Liouville and Green's function analysis will be taught in class as needed. Not offered 2022-23.
Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics. Basic laws of thermodynamics, work and heat, entropy and available work, and thermal systems. Equations of state, compressibility functions, and the Law of Corresponding States. Thermodynamic potentials, phase equilibrium, phase transitions, and thermodynamic properties of solids, liquids, and gases. Examples will be drawn from fluid dynamics, solid mechanics, energy systems, and thermal-science applications.
The course will cover chemical equilibrium, chemical kinetics, combustion chemistry, transport phenomena, and the governing equations for multicomponent gas mixtures. Topics will be chosen from non-premixed and premixed flames, laminar and turbulent flames, combustion-generated pollutants, and numerical simulations of reacting flows.
Ae 121 is designed to introduce the fundamentals of chemical, electric and advanced propulsion technologies. The course focuses on the thermochemistry and aerodynamics of chemical and electrothermal propulsion systems, the physics of ionized gases and electrostatic and electromagnetic processes in electric thrusters. These analyses provide the opportunity to introduce the basic concepts of non-equilibrium gas dynamics and kinetic theory. Specific technologies such as launch vehicle rocket engines, monopropellant engines, arcjets, ion thrusters, magnetoplasmadynamic engines and Hall thrusters will be discussed. Ae 121 also provides an introduction to advanced propulsion concepts such as solar sails and antimatter rockets.
Aerospace Engineering Seminar
Speakers from campus and outside research and manufacturing organizations discuss current problems and advances in aerospace engineering. Graded pass/fail.
Introduction to the Physics of Remote Sensing
An overview of the physics behind space remote sensing instruments. Topics include the interaction of electromagnetic waves with natural surfaces, including scattering of microwaves, microwave and thermal emission from atmospheres and surfaces, and spectral reflection from natural surfaces and atmospheres in the near-infrared and visible regions of the spectrum. The class also discusses the design of modern space sensors and associated technology, including sensor design, new observation techniques, ongoing developments, and data interpretation. Examples of applications and instrumentation in geology, planetology, oceanography, astronomy, and atmospheric research.
This class covers both the fundamentals of optical engineering and the development of space optical systems. Emphasis is on the design and engineering of optical, UV and IR systems for scientific remote sensing and imaging applications. Material covered is: first order optics to find the location, size and orientation of an image; geometrical aberration theory balancing tolerancing optical systems; transmittance, Etendu vignetting; radiative transfer; scalar vector wave propagation-physical optics; scalar diffraction image formation coherence; interferometry for the measurement of optical surfaces astronomy; optical metrology wavefront sensing control (A/O); segmented and sparse aperture telescopes; and design topics in coronagraphy, Fourier transform spectrometers, grating spectrometers, and large aperture telescopes. Space optics issues discussed will be segmented sparse aperture telescopes, radiation damage to glass, thermal and UV contamination. Not offered 2022-23.
Continuum Mechanics of Fluids and Solids
Elements of Cartesian tensors. Configurations and motions of a body. Kinematics-study of deformations, rotations and stretches, polar decomposition. Lagrangian and Eulerian strain velocity and spin tensor fields. Irrotational motions, rigid motions. Kinetics-balance laws. Linear and angular momentum, force, traction stress. Cauchy's theorem, properties of Cauchy's stress. Equations of motion, equilibrium equations. Power theorem, nominal (Piola-Kirchoff) stress. Thermodynamics of bodies. Internal energy, heat flux, heat supply. Laws of thermodynamics, notions of entropy, absolute temperature. Entropy inequality (Clausius-Duhem). Examples of special classes of constitutive laws for materials without memory. Objective rates, corotational, convected rates. Principles of materials frame indifference. Examples: the isotropic Navier-Stokes fluid, the isotropic thermoelastic solid. Basics of finite differences, finite elements, and boundary integral methods, and their applications to continuum mechanics problems illustrating a variety of classes of constitutive laws.
Mechanics of Composite Materials and Structures
Introduction and fabrication technology, elastic deformation of composites, stiffness bounds, on- and off-axis elastic constants for a lamina, elastic deformation of multidirectional laminates (lamination theory, ABD matrix), effective hygrothermal properties, mechanisms of yield and failure for a laminate, strength of a single ply, failure models, splitting and delamination. Experimental methods for characterization and testing of composite materials. Design criteria, application of design methods to select a suitable laminate using composite design software, hand layup of a simple laminate and measurement of its stiffness and thermoelastic coefficients. Not offered 2022-23.
Advanced Research in Aerospace
Ae.E. or Ph.D. thesis level research under the direction of the staff. A written research report must be submitted during finals week each term.
Advanced Fluid Mechanics
Part A: Foundations of the mechanics of real fluids. Basic concepts will be emphasized. Subjects covered will include a selection from the following topics: physical properties of real gases; the equations of motion of viscous and inviscid fluids in Lagrangian and Eulerian form; potential flow; flow past bodies; the dynamical significance of vorticity; vortex dynamics; exact solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations. Passive and active scalar mixing. Elements of compressible flow. Part B: Extensions on the foundations of the mechanics of fluids. Transition from incompressible and potential flow to weakly compressible flow, acoustics, sound generation, transonic flow, and fully compressible flow. Extensions to flow past bodies and shock waves.
Technical Fluid Mechanics
External and internal flow problems encountered in engineering, for which only empirical methods exist. Turbulent shear flow, separation, transition, three-dimensional and nonsteady effects. Basis of engineering practice in the design of devices such as mixers, ejectors, diffusers, and control valves. Studies of flow-induced oscillations, wind effects on structures, vehicle aerodynamics. Not offered 2022-23.
Advanced Space Project
This is an advanced course on the design and implementation of space projects and it is currently focused on the flight project Autonomous Assembly of a Reconfigurable Space Telescope (AAReST). The objective is to be ready for launch and operation in 2015. Each student will be responsible for a specific activity, chosen from the following: optimization of telescope system architecture; design, assembly and testing of telescope optics; telescope calibration procedure and algorithms for wavefront control; thermal analysis; boom design and deployment test methods; effects of spacecraft dynamics on telescope performance; environmental testing of telescope system. Each student will prepare a survey of the state of the art for the selected activity, and then develop a design/implementation plan, execute the plan and present the results in a final report. Not offered 2022-23.
A seminar course in fluid, solid, space, and bio mechanics. Weekly lectures on current developments are presented by staff members, graduate students, and visiting scientists and engineers. Graded pass/fail.
Mechanics and Materials Aspects of Fracture
Analytical and experimental techniques in the study of fracture in metallic and nonmetallic solids. Mechanics of brittle and ductile fracture; connections between the continuum descriptions of fracture and micromechanisms. Discussion of elastic-plastic fracture analysis and fracture criteria. Special topics include fracture by cleavage, void growth, rate sensitivity, crack deflection and toughening mechanisms, as well as fracture of nontraditional materials. Fatigue crack growth and life prediction techniques will also be discussed. In addition, "dynamic" stress wave dominated, failure initiation growth and arrest phenomena will be covered. This will include traditional dynamic fracture considerations as well as discussions of failure by adiabatic shear localization. Not offered 2022-23.
Computational Solid Mechanics
This course focuses on the analysis of elastic thin shell structures in the large deformation regime. Problems of interest include softening behavior, bifurcations, loss of stability and localization. Introduction to the use of numerical methods in the solution of solid mechanics and multiscale mechanics problems. Variational principles. Finite element and isogeometric formulations for thin shells. Time integration, initial boundary value problems. Error estimation. Accuracy, stability and convergence. Iterative solution methods. Adaptive strategies. Not offered 2022-23.
Dynamic Behavior of Materials
Fundamentals of theory of wave propagation; plane waves, wave guides, dispersion relations; dynamic plasticity, adiabatic shear banding; dynamic fracture; shock waves, equation of state. Not offered 2022-23.
Overview of probability and statistics, and the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution. Overview and elements of Quantum Mechanics, degenerate energy states, particles in a box, and energy-state phase space. Statistics of indistinguishable elementary particles, Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics, partition functions, connections with classical thermodynamics, and the Law of Equipartition. Examples from equilibrium in fluids, solid-state physics, and others. Not offered 2022-23.
Theory of Structures
Fundamentals of buckling and stability, total potential energy and equilibrium approaches; snap-through and bifurcation instabilities; eigenvalues and eigenvectors of stiffness matrix; Rayleigh-Ritz estimates of buckling loads; buckling of rods; imperfection sensitivity; elastic-plastic buckling; buckling of plates and shells. Selected topics: localization and wrinkling of membranes and solids; stability landscapes for shells and other topics.
This course examines the links between form, geometric shape, and structural performance. It deals with different ways of breaking up a continuum, and how this affects global structural properties; structural concepts and preliminary design methods that are used in tension structures and deployable structures. Geometric foundations, polyhedra and tessellations, surfaces; space frames, examples of space frames, stiffness and structural efficiency of frames with different repeating units; sandwich plates; cable and membrane structures, form-finding, wrinkle-free pneumatic domes, balloons, tension-stabilized struts, tensegrity domes; deployable and adaptive structures, coiled rods and their applications, flexible shells, membranes, structural mechanisms, actuators, concepts for adaptive trusses and manipulators. Not offered 2022-23.
Theory of dislocations in crystalline media. Characteristics of dislocations and their influence on the mechanical behavior in various crystal structures. Application of dislocation theory to single and polycrystal plasticity. Theory of the inelastic behavior of materials with negligible time effects. Experimental background for metals and fundamental postulates for plastic stress-strain relations. Variational principles for incremental elastic-plastic problems, uniqueness. Upper and lower bound theorems of limit analysis and shakedown. Slip line theory and applications. Additional topics may include soils, creep and rate-sensitive effects in metals, the thermodynamics of plastic deformation, and experimental methods in plasticity. Not offered 2022-23.
Multiscale view of materials and different approaches of introducing functionality; Electronic aspects and multiferroic materials; Symmetry breaking phase transformations, microstructure: shape-memory alloys, ferroelectrics, liquid crystal elastomers; Composite materials and metamaterials: multifunctional structures. Not offered 2022-23.
Special Topics in Solid Mechanics
Subject matter changes depending on staff and student interest.
Computational Fluid Dynamics
Development and analysis of algorithms used in the solution of fluid mechanics problems. Numerical analysis of discretization schemes for partial differential equations including interpolation, integration, spatial discretization, systems of ordinary differential equations; stability, accuracy, aliasing, Gibbs and Runge phenomena, numerical dissipation and dispersion; boundary conditions. Survey of finite difference, finite element, finite volume and spectral approximations for the numerical solution of the incompressible and compressible Euler and Navier-Stokes equations, including shock-capturing methods.
Laminar-stability theory as a guide to laminar-turbulent transition. Rayleigh equation, instability criteria, and response to small inviscid disturbances. Discussion of Kelvin-Helmholtz, Rayleigh-Taylor, Richtmyer-Meshkov, and other instabilities, for example, in geophysical flows. The Orr-Sommerfeld equation, the dual role of viscosity, and boundary-layer stability. Non-normality of the linearized Navier-Stokes operator, and transient growth. Weakly nonlinear stability theory and phenomenological theories of turbulence.
An advanced course dealing with aerodynamic problems of flight at hyper-sonic speeds. Topics are selected from hypersonic small-disturbance theory, blunt-body theory, boundary layers and shock waves in real gases, heat and mass transfer, testing facilities and experiment.
Molecular description of matter; distribution functions; discrete-velocity gases. Kinetic theory: free-path theory, internal degrees of freedom. Boltzmann equation: BBGKY hierarchy and closure, H theorem, Euler equations, Chapman-Enskog procedure, free-molecule flows. Collisionless and transitional flows. Direct simulation Monte Carlo methods. Applications. Not offered 2022-23.
Part a: dynamics of shock waves, expansion waves, and related discontinuities in gases. Adiabatic phase-transformation waves. Interaction of waves in one- and two-dimensional flows. Boundary layers and shock structure. Applications and shock tube techniques. Part b: shock and detonation waves in solids and liquids. Equations of state for hydrodynamic computations in solids, liquids, and explosive reaction products. CJ and ZND models of detonation in solids and liquids. Propagation of shock waves and initiation of reaction in explosives. Interactions of detonation waves with water and metals. Not offered 2022-23.
Reynolds-averaged equations and the problem of closure. Statistical description of turbulence. Homogeneous isotropic turbulence and structure of fine scales. Turbulent shear flows. Physical and spectral models. Subgridscale modeling. Turbulent mixing. Structure of low and high Reynolds number wall turbulence.
Special Topics in Fluid Mechanics
Topics and subject matter descriptions change each year depending upon staff and student interest.
Special Topics in Experimental Fluid and Solid Mechanics
Subject matter changes depending upon staff and student interest.
Biological Flows: Propulsion
Physical principles of unsteady fluid momentum transport: equations of motion, dimensional analysis, conservation laws. Unsteady vortex dynamics: vorticity generation and dynamics, vortex dipoles/rings, wake structure in unsteady flows. Life in moving fluids: unsteady drag, added-mass effects, virtual buoyancy, bounding and schooling, wake capture. Thrust generation by flapping, undulating, rowing, jetting. Low Reynolds number propulsion. Bioinspired design of propulsion devices. Not offered 2022-23.
Internal flows: steady and pulsatile blood flow in compliant vessels, internal flows in organisms. Fluid dynamics of the human circulatory system: heart, veins, and arteries (microcirculation). Mass and momentum transport across membranes and endothelial layers. Fluid mechanics of the respiratory system. Renal circulation and circulatory system. Biological pumps. Low and High Reynolds number locomotion.
Reading and Independent Study
Graded pass/fail only.
Closed Loop Flow Control
This course seeks to introduce students to recent developments in theoretical and practical aspects of applying control to flow phenomena and fluid systems. Lecture topics in the second term drawn from: the objectives of flow control; a review of relevant concepts from classical and modern control theory; high-fidelity and reduced-order modeling; principles and design of actuators and sensors. Third term: laboratory work in open- and closed-loop control of boundary layers, turbulence, aerodynamic forces, bluff body drag, combustion oscillations and flow-acoustic oscillations. Not offered 2022-23.
Static and Dynamic Failure of Brittle Solids and Interfaces, from the Micro to the Mega
Linear elastic fracture mechanics of homogeneous brittle solids (e.g. geo-materials, ceramics, metallic glasses); small scale yielding concepts; experimental methods in fracture, fracture of bi-material interfaces with applications to composites as well as bonded and layered engineering and geological structures; thin-film and micro-electronic components and systems; dynamic fracture mechanics of homogeneous engineering materials; dynamic shear dominated failure of coherent and incoherent interfaces at all length scales; dynamic rupture of frictional interfaces with application to earthquake source mechanics; allowable rupture speeds regimes and connections to earthquake seismology and the generation of Tsunamis. Not offered 2022-23.
Fracture and Frictional Faulting
Introduction to elastodynamics and waves in solids. Fracture theory, energy concepts, cohesive zone models. Friction laws, nucleation of frictional instabilities, rupture of frictional interfaces. Radiation from moving cracks. Thermal effects during dynamic fracture and faulting. Interaction of faulting with fluids. Applications to engineering phenomena a physics and mechanics of earthquakes.