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Undergraduate and Graduate Studies

Physics Colloquium: Oscar Murillo (NASA)

April 24, 2015 - 5:30pm

Title: On the Minimum Induced Drag of Wings

Of all the types of drag, induced drag is associated with the creation and generation of lift over hide wings. Induced drag is directly driven by the span load that the aircraft is flying at. The tools by which to calculate and predict induced drag we use were created by Ludwig Prandtl in 1903. Within a decade after Prandtl created a tool for calculating induced drag, Prandtl and his students had optimized the problem to solve the minimum induced drag for a wing of a given span, formalized and written about in 1920. This solution is quoted in textbooks extensively today. Prandtl did not stop with this first solution, and came to a dramatically different solution in 1932. Subsequent development of this 1932 solution solves several aeronautics design difficulties simultaneously, including maximum performance, minimum structure, minimum drag loss due to control input, and solution to adverse yaw without a vertical tail. This presentation lists that solution by Prandtl, and the refinements by Horten, Jones, Kline, Viswanathan, and Whitcomb.



Dr. Oscar Murillo is an Aerospace Engineer and the Project Manager of the MUREP Institutional Research Opportunity (MIRO) at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center.  In his current role he manages an education program overseeing 12 universities.  Previously, he was the Controls Lead for the Full-Scale Advanced Systems Testbed (FAST), a F/A-18 test vehicle (NASA 853). Other programs he supported was the DARPA HTV-2 (Hypersonic Technology Vehicle) program by providing government oversight on the guidance and control system. He has also worked on PRANDTL-D, which is studying an alternate spanload to the elliptical spanload in order to reduce induce drag. Murillo joined NASA AFRC in 2001 as part of the co-op program.  As he proceeded through his educational career he worked on several projects, such as the X-38 Crew Rescue Vehicle, Autonomous Aerial Refueling Demonstrator (AARD), X-43A Hyper-X, and Autonomous Formation Flight (AFF).  He joined the NASA family full time in 2009. Murillo earned his SB in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003.  He received his M.Eng. in 2005 and his PhD in 2010, both in Aerospace Engineering at Iowa State University. His dissertation was titled “A fast ascent trajectory optimization method for hypersonic air-breathing vehicles.”


Every Friday 10:45-11:45 a.m., COB 267 (except as noted). Tea and cookies will be served from 10:30 - 10:45 a.m. Questions regarding the seminar series should be directed to Prof. Chih-Chun Chien