Research Group Members

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ellie Action

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.

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.

Hunter Moore Action

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
Unsteady Aerodynamics

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.

Mann Barrel Panoramic of Range Vicon in the Wind Tunnel Vicon on the range
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.

Flying quadrotor in the wind tunnel Thrust stand experiments
Prospective Research
Unsteady Aerodynamics

There are two applications of unsteady aerodynamics that I would like to dive back into. I am interested in doing more work in the area of active flow control, particularly our group’s dynamic roughness approach. Particularly, I am interested in conducting higher fidelity CFD analysis to better understand the physics of the flow in the boundary layer near the roughness elements. It is still unclear on what physical mechanism of the dynamic roughness leads to its effects on the local flow field. Is it simply energizing the local shear layer? Is there local turbulence created? What conditions are required for the desired effect, in terms of position, amplitude, and frequency? These are questions I think CFD can help answer, with experimental validation.

Dynamic Roughness elements CFD of pitching airfoil PIV comparison of clean and dynamic roughness Animation of DR elements

Still in the realm of unsteady aerodynamics, I am very interested in the local flow near birds’ wings during certain maneuvers. In 2015, our group was given a small amount of funding to record high-speed video of an American Kestrel during flight. This work was primarily to document any observations at different types of flight modes (glide, takeoff, landing, etc…). One observation of great interest was a repeated covert feather movement during the approach to landing on a perch. Repeatedly, the covert feathers over the wing and down the back of the bird would lift from the surface. The feathers would activate near the leading edge or head of the bird; then this feather activation would travel aft. It certainly seemed some type of vortex movement was being developed on the upper surface of the bird, then advecting downstream. I’d like to conduct experiments to capture the flow field near the bird’s body during this maneuver as well as better document the feather activation frequency.

American Kestrel takeoff from perch American Kestrel perching on a GoPro PIV on cadaver wing Buttercup in high speed video