Experimental Aerodynamics and Propulsion Lab

The research activities focus on both advancement/development of current/new flow diagnostics techniques, data-driven methods and on the experimental investigation of vortical features, heat transport and mixing in complex flows. The experimental activities are prevalently targeted to aerospace propulsion-related aspects such as swirling flows and turbomachinery cooling.


Stefano Discetti Andrea Ianiro Marco Raiola
Stefano Discetti Andrea Ianiro Marco Raiola
Associate Prof. [CV] Associate Prof. [CV] Assistant Prof.
Rodrigo Castellanos Firoozeh Foroozan Alejandro Guemes
Rodrigo Castellanos Firoozeh Foroozan Alejandro Güemes
PhD candidate PhD candidate PhD candidate
Research lines

TBL :-( Advanced flow diagnostics
We work on the development and improvement of measurement tools for turbulent and complex flows. Our contributions have been mostly in the field of PIV (planar, stereoscopic and volumetric) and IR thermography. Recent efforts include the application of data-driven methods to improve measurement spatial and temporal resolution and signal-to-noise ratio.

TBL :-( Data-driven fluid mechanics
We investigate on data-driven tools to analyze numerical and experimental data. The tools we employ are aimed at flow sensing, model order reduction and control. Current activities include the sensing of large-scale motions in turbulent boundary layers and the heat transfer enhancement with closed loop control.

TBL :-( Wall-bounded turbulence
Turbulent boundary layers (TBLs) are of paramount importance given their ubiquitous presence in many relevant fluid-flow problems such as the flow over wings, land and sea vehicles, turbines, compressors, etc. The focus of our research is on the coherent structures organization, modeling and manipulation in canonical (pipe flows, ZPG TBLs) and non-canonical conditions

TBL :-( Convective heat transfer
Convective heat transfer is relevant in countless industrial applications (turbomachinery, manufacturing, food processing, etc.). We use optical methods and data-mining techniques to investigate the flow feataures which are more intensively active in convective heat transfer phenomena.

TBL :-( Bio-inspired aerodynamics
Several engineering problems have brilliant solutions which are readily availble in nature. We aim to identify bio-inspired solutions for thermo-fluid-dynamic problems.

Competitive research projects
  1. COTURB: Coherent structures in wall-bounded turbulence
    ERC Advanced Grant (PI: J.Jimenez, UPM), 278.750€, 2016-2021
  2. PITUFLOW-CM-UC3M: Pattern Identification in Turbulence for Flow control
    UC3M. Madrid Region (PIs: V. Guerrero Lozano and A. Ianiro, UC3M), 60.000€, 2020-2021
  3. CONTRAST: Convective heat Transfer and coherent Structures in Turbulent boundary layers
    Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad of Spain (PIs: A. Ianiro and S. Discetti, UC3M) 99.825€, 2016-2019
  4. FLAPPING: Numerical and experimental evaluation of the unsteady aerodynamics of flapping wings
    Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain (PIs: O.Flores and M.G. Villalba, UC3M), 90.750€, 2014-2016
  5. System for simultaneous measurements of 3D flow fields and convective heat transfer in a water tunnel
    Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain (PI: F.J. Rodriguez, UC3M), 280.000€, 2013-2015
Funding from industrial and academic partners
The research activities of EAP have been funded by the following industrial partners:
  • Airbus Operations, S.L
  • Compañía Española de Sistemas Aeronáuticos, S.A.
  • TU Delft
  • ATOS Spain

  • PhD Theses
    1. Control of turbulent convective heat transfer
      Rodrigo Castellanos García de Blas (ongoing) Supervisors: S. Discetti, A. Ianiro
    2. Dynamics of coherent structures in wall-bounded turbulent flows
      Alejandro Güemes Jimenez (ongoing) Supervisors: A. Ianiro, S. Discetti
    3. Detection and control of large-scale motions in wall-bounded turbulent flows
      Firoozeh Foroozan. (ongoing) Supervisors: A. Ianiro, S. Discetti
    4. Turbulent boundary layers with adverse pressure gradient
      Carlos Sanmiguel Vila. (2019) [pdf] Supervisors: S. Discetti, A. Ianiro
      Outstanding thesis award UC3M.
      Currently data scientist at Santander Bank. Enrolled in "The Golden 20 - Digital Training Camp" of Santander Bank
    5. Empirical eigenfunctions: application in unsteady aerodynamics
      Marco Raiola (2017) [pdf] Supervisors: A. Ianiro, S. Discetti
      Currently Assistant Professor in the EAP group (UC3M)
    6. Three-dimensional organization and heat transfer of jets with fractal generated turbulence
      Gioacchino Cafiero (2016) [pdf] Supervisors: T. Astarita (Univ. of Naples), S. Discetti
      Currently Lecturer at University of Surrey (UK)
    7. Investigation of Synthetic Jets Heat Transfer and Flow Field
      Carlo Salvatore Greco. Supervisors: G. Cardone (Univ. of Naples), A. Ianiro (2015) [pdf] Currently Assistant Professor at University of Naples Federico II (Italy)
    Selected recent publications
    1. Experimental realisation of near-equilibrium adverse-pressure-gradient turbulent boundary layers
      C.Sanmiguel Vila, R.Vinuesa, S.Discetti, A.Ianiro, P.Schlatter, R.Örlü,
      Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, (2020) [DOI]
    2. Sensing the turbulent large-scale motions with their wall signature
      A. Güemes, S.Discetti, A.Ianiro Physics of Fluids, (2019) [DOI]
    3. Characterization of very-large-scale motions in high-Re pipe flows
      S. Discetti, G. Bellani, R. Örlü, J. Serpieri, C. Sanmiguel Vila, M. Raiola, X. Zheng, L. Mascotelli, A. Talamelli, A. Ianiro
      Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, (2019) [DOI]
    4. Estimation of time-resolved turbulent fields through correlation of non-time-resolved field measurements and time-resolved point measurements
      S. Discetti, M. Raiola, A. Ianiro
      Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, (2018) [DOI]
    5. Smart rotors: Dynamic-stall load control by means of an actuated flap
      M. Raiola, S. Discetti, A. Ianiro, F. Samara, F. Avallone, D. Ragni
      AIAA Journal, (2018) [DOI]
    6. Volumetric velocimetry for fluid flows
      S. Discetti, F. Coletti
      Measurement Science and Technology, (2018) [DOI]
    7. On the identification of well-behaved turbulent boundary layers
      C.Sanmiguel Vila, R.Vinuesa, S.Discetti, A.Ianiro, P.Schlatter, R.Örlü,
      Journal of Fluid Mechanics, (2017) [DOI]
    8. Towards enabling time-resolved measurements of turbulent convective heat transfer maps with IR thermography and a heated thin foil
      M. Raiola, C. S. Greco, M. Contino, S. Discetti, A. Ianiro
      International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, (2017) [DOI]
    9. Three-dimensional organization and dynamics of vortices in multichannel swirling jets
      A. Ianiro, K. P. Lynch, D. Violato, G. Cardone, F. Scarano
      Journal of Fluid Mechanics, (2017) [DOI]
    10. Ensemble 3D PTV for high resolution turbulent statistics
      N. Äguera, G. Cafiero, T. Astarita, S. Discetti
      Measurement Science and Technology, (2016) [DOI] [Full paper]
    11. Main results of the 4th International PIV Challenge
      C. J. Kähler, T. Astarita, P. P. Vlachos, J. Sakakibara, R. Hain, S. Discetti, R. La Foy, C. Cierpka
      Experiments in Fluids, (2016) [DOI] [Full paper]
    Open-source code and data repositories
    1. [CODE] Data-Enhanced Particle Tracking Velocimetry [GitHub]
    2. [CODE] POD-based background removal for Particle Image Velocimetry [www]
    3. [DATA] Very-large-scale motions measurement in pipe flows at high Reynolds numbers [TurBase]
    4. [DATA] High-Dynamic-Range Measurements in Pipe Flows at High Reynolds Numbers [TurBase]
    1. Prof. Dr. Philipp Schlatter, Dr. Ramis Örlü, Dr. Ricardo Vinuesa, KTH, Department of Mechanics
    2. Prof. Dr. Daniele Ragni, Aeroacoustics group, TU Delft
    3. Prof. Dr. Javier Jimenez, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
    4. Prof. Dr. Tommaso Astarita, Prof. Dr. Gennaro Cardone, Dr. Carlo Salvatore Greco, Industrial Engineering Department, University of Naples Federico II
    5. Prof. Dr. Alessandro Talamelli, Universitá Alma Mater Studiorum di Bologna
    6. Dr. Miguel Mendez, von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics