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New directions in fluid dynamics : Non-equilibrium aerodynamic and microsystem flows

Reese, Jason M. and Gallis, Michael A. and Lockerby, Duncan A. (2003) New directions in fluid dynamics : Non-equilibrium aerodynamic and microsystem flows. Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 361 (1813). pp. 2967-2988. ISSN 1364-503X

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Fluid flows that do not have local equilibrium are characteristic of some of the new frontiers in engineering and technology, for example, high-speed high-altitude aerodynamics and the development of micrometre-sized fluid pumps, turbines and other devices. However, this area of fluid dynamics is poorly understood from both the experimental and simulation perspectives, which hampers the progress of these technologies. This paper reviews some of the recent developments in experimental techniques and modelling methods for non-equilibrium gas flows, examining their advantages and drawbacks. We also present new results from our computational investigations into both hypersonic and microsystem flows using two distinct numerical methodologies: the direct simulation Monte Carlo method and extended hydrodynamics. While the direct simulation approach produces excellent results and is used widely, extended hydrodynamics is not as well developed but is a promising candidate for future more complex simulations. Finally, we discuss some of the other situations where these simulation methods could be usefully applied, and look to the future of numerical tools for non-equilibrium flows.