My background is in aerodynamics, particularly unsteady aerodynamics. I am most interested in research concerning active flow control, biomimetics, rigid body tracking with motion capture systems, and novel computational techniques for fluid dynamics. I am currently working on several research projects in the following areas:
- Unsteady aerodynamics of unstable bodies
- Autonomous quadrotor UAS platforms
- Thermal efficiency of submerged tubing systems
- Cultivating inclusive professional identities in engineering and computer science students
- Uncertainty of motion capture systems for rigid body tracking
Research Group Members
Hunter DALTONPursuing MS in Aerospace Engineering
My name is Hunter Dalton, and I am from Inwood, West Virginia. I am a current Graduate Research Assistant at WVU, pursuing my masters in Aerospace Engineering. I completed my undergrad in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in both Mechanical and Aerospace engineering.
Current member of the WVU Chapter of AIAA, Officer from 2016-2019, President from 2017-2018.
Current member of SPACE, Officer from 2016-2018, President from 2017-2018.
I am working on determining the uncertainty analysis in determining position using a VICON motion capture system. I am trying to determine this using different sized markers during static and dynamic testing.
Ellie GARDNERPursuing Dual BS in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
My name is Ellie Gardner and I am from Williamstown, West Virginia. I am currently pursuing dual degrees in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering as well as a member of the WVU Track and Field Team. I am working to determine the optimal position and orientation of a system of VICON motion capture cameras to maximize their combined field of view.
Hunter MOOREPursuing Dual BS in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
Hi! I'm Hunter Moore, a current WVU Sophomore from West Milford, West Virginia, studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. In terms of research, I am working to determine the methodology for producing the most effective distribution of VICON motion capture markers. I hope to develop a MATLAB tool capable of implementing that same methodology for use in marking objects for wind tunnel testing.
Outside of the lab, I'm involved in the WVU Chapters of Engineers Without Borders and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, as well as the Experimental Rocketry Team. I also enjoy being an active member of the WVU Honors College.
Ross O'HaraPursuing Dual BS in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
My name is Ross O’Hara, I am from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. I am currently pursuing dual degrees in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. I am working to further the applications of the VICON motion tracking system. The VICON system is a powerful tool with the ability to quantify information with precision and accuracy. The plan is to use this tool to derive valuable data, using VICON and MATLAB for flow visualization and other aerodynamic testing applications.
Benjamin ROBINSONPursuing Dual BS in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
My name is Ben Robinson and I am from Randolph, New Jersey. I am pursuing dual degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Currently, I am working on controlling a Pixhawk quadrotor through a ROS environment with the aid from MATLAB and incorporating position information from a VICON motion capture system.
The goal is to use the VICON system, Pixhawk hardware, and PX4 autopilot software to control the location of a quadrotor within the WVU Free Flight Wind Tunnel to conduct aerodynamic and power consumption analysis at different flight conditions.
Current Research Activity
My research group and I are currently working on a funded research project dealing with the role of unsteady aerodynamics in the motion of unstable bodies. The primary mode of instability is static margin, causing high angular rates. These high angular rates are not accurately predicted by static aerodynamic analysis. The goal of the study is to provide better body motion prediction taking into account unsteady aerodynamic effects.
We conduct a majority of our experimental data at a free-flight test facility located in Reedsville, WV. At this location, we have a large outdoor range as well as a large 16' x 16' x 120' wind tunnel. Either location can be outfitted with up to 70 VICON motion capture cameras, as well as multiple high-speed cameras to capture vehicle position and orientation.
Thermal and Fluid Flow Analysis
WVU is a partner with Boston Engineering Corporation working to improve the efficiency of diver body temperature regulation systems. Our team is conducting both experimental analysis as well as computational fluid dynamics to document and predict heat loss and pressure drop through a variety of system components.
Unmanned Aerial Systems
Our group, teaming with NextGen Federal Systems , was awarded an Army SBIR to develop a small and efficient unmanned aerial system. The UAS will be used to autonomously conduct ISR missions while adhering to challenges such as form factor, range and endurance, and sensor payload requirements.
We are primarily tasked with paltform design and development along with aerodynamic testing and validation. We utilize our environmental wind tunnel, thrust stands, and tradition force and moment balances to capture aerodynamic performance.