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Studying the deployment of high-lift devices by using dynamic immersed boundaries

Francesco Capizzano (Computational Fluid Dynamics Lab, Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali, Capua, Italy)
Triyantono Sucipto (IBK Innovation GmbH & Co. KG, Hamburg, Germany)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 26 July 2021

Issue publication date: 3 January 2022




This paper aims to describe a research effort towards the comprehension of the unsteady phenomena due to the deployment of high-lift devices at approach/landing conditions.


The work starts from a preexisting platform based on an immersed boundary (IB) method whose capabilities are extended to study compressible and viscous flows around moving/deforming objects. A hybrid Lagrangian-Eulerian approach is designed to consider the motion of multiple bodies through a fixed Cartesian mesh. That is, the cells’ volumes do not move in space but rather they observe the solid walls crossing themselves. A dynamic discrete forcing makes use of a moving least-square procedure which has been validated by simulating well-known benchmarks available for rigid body motions. Partitioned fluid-structure interactions (FSI) strategies are explored to consider aeroelastic phenomena. A shared platform, between the aerodynamic and the structural solvers, fulfils the loads’ transfer and drives the sequence of the operating steps.


The first part of the results is devoted to a basic two-dimensional study aiming at evaluating the accuracy of the method when simple rigid motions are prescribed. Afterwards, the paper discusses the solution obtained when applying the dynamic IB method to the rigid deployment of a Krueger-flap. The final section discusses the aeroelastic behaviour of a three-element airfoil during its deployment phase. A loose FSI coupling is applied for estimating the possible loads’ downgrade.

Research limitations/implications

The IB surfaces are allowed to move less than one IB-cell size at each time-step de-facto restricting the Courant-Friedrichs-Lewy (CFL) based on the wall velocity to be smaller than unity. The violation of this constraint would impair the explicit character of the method.

Practical implications

The proposed method improves automation in FSI numerical analysis and relaxes the human expertise/effort for meshing the computational domain around complex three-dimensional geometries. The logical consequence is an overall speed-up of the simulation process.


The value of the paper consists in demonstrating the applicability of dynamic IB techniques for studying high-lift devices. In particular, the proposed Cartesian method does not want to compete with body-conforming ones whose accuracy remains generally superior. Rather, the merit of this research is to propose a fast and automatic simulation system as a viable alternative to classic multi-block structured, chimaera or unstructured tools.



The research activity is supported by the European Community’s Horizon 2020 Programme under grant agreement N°769088 – UHURA.


Capizzano, F. and Sucipto, T. (2022), "Studying the deployment of high-lift devices by using dynamic immersed boundaries", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 94 No. 1, pp. 99-111.



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