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Scientific Programming
Volume 4, Issue 3, Pages 203-217

A Parallel Processing Approach to Transition Prediction for Laminar Flow Control System Design

R. W. Ford1 and D. I. A. Poll2

1Centre for Novel Computing, Department of Computer Science, The University of Manchester, Oxford Rd., Manchester, Ml3 9PL, UK
2Department of Engineering, The University of Manchester, Oxford Rd., Manchester, Ml3 9PL, UK

Received 16 May 1994; Accepted 16 December 1994

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The performance of transport aircraft can be considerably improved if the process by which the wing boundary layer becomes turbulent can be controlled and extensive areas of laminar flow maintained. In order to design laminar flow control systems, it is necessary to be able to predict the movement of the transition location in response to changes in control variables, e.g., surface suction. At present, the technique which is available to industry requires excessively long computational time – so long that it is not suitable for use in the "design process." Therefore, there is a clear need to produce a system which delivers results in near realtime, i.e., in seconds rather than hours. This article details how parallel computing techniques on a KSR-1 produce these performance improvements.