Aircraft Inlet

A new laminar flow aircraft inlet is being developed, certified and tested for use on research aircraft as part of the TI3GER project. We used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in combination with measurements of turbulence and flow speeds at a high-speed wind tunnel (US Air Force Academy) to investigate the role of turbulence of the inlet flows. The results inform the inlet performance to sample sticky gases (e.g., sulfuric acid and other condensable vapors) and identify optimal conditions for inlet operation to maximize gas transmission. The results obtained are helpful to inform sampling strategies of using Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry (CIMS) as part of future aircraft campaigns and are also useful to keep improving gas inlet design.

Recent publications:

Yang et al.: Performance characterization of a laminar gas inlet, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 17, 1463–1474,, 2024.

Performance characterization of a laminar gas inlet: wind tunnel experimental setup and simulation results using computational fluid dynamics method. Figure A, the photos for wind tunnel experiments. A.1 shows the inlet sit in the wind tunnel testing area. A.2 shows the transportation tube between inlet and CIMS instrument for measuring sulfuric acid transmission loss. A.3. shows CIMS instrument. Figure B, simulation results of flow features inside the gas inlet. B.1 is the velocity distribution inside the inlet. B.2 is the results of turbulence measurements and verification of different turbulent models. Figure C, model predictions of gas-phase species distribution. C.1 shows mass fraction of water vapor distribution inside inlet. C.2 shows gas transmission efficiency with residence time of gas travel through the inlet.