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Aerodynamics is integral part of everyone’s life. Aerodynamics concepts come in picture for variety of products and its behavior. Let it be any type of vehicle (road, air, water), high rise buildings and towers, sports equipment and practices, this subject is plays a very important role. This subject is not only of interest to engineers, but also to school students as most of us are interested to know concepts like aerodynamic design of car or aircraft, cricket ball or football swing etc. Aerodynamics is one of the old areas of interest for many engineers and scientist. This subject has been studied for very long time and lot of literature is available. It is very difficult for a beginner to streamline his/her learning process as everything looks interesting. This course is designed with main objective of streamlining beginner’s learning process and give required knowledge of the subject so that one can start the learning journey of this exciting subject.

Recommended background

Most part of the course is self-contained and needs no background knowledge. All the concepts are explained with real life examples which most of you have seen in your daily life. To constrain the discussion to aerodynamics topic, we have assumed that you are familiar with basic terms like velocity, acceleration, force, pressure. If not, you may try few of the examples discussed in the course and we are sure that you will get required understanding of these basic concepts. We recommend keeping your “Curious Mind” active and alive, all rest required to understand the subject is covered in the course. No specific educational background is necessary to take this course. All are welcome. If you have any difficulty understanding any explained concept in the course, please raise your query and we would help you.

Your Learning

Our main objective of the course is to introduce you to the subject of aerodynamics and given necessary start point for you to start the journey of this subject. By the end of this course, you would learn required basic concepts to understand the subject. You will understand why few things are designed and behaves in the way they behave. You will be in position to apply aerodynamic concepts in any of the conceptual idea you have which requires aerodynamic concept. The main outcome of this course would be it would help you to open up your curious mind ask questions and observer things around involving aerodynamics concept.

This is version 1.0 of the course which contains video lectures. This is the basic version of the course is targeted towards fundamental aspects of aerodynamics with its few of the practical applications. The planned upgraded version of the course “Aerodynamic 2.0” will contain many other components of the course including assignments, quizzes, and project. The upgraded version 2.0 of the course would also include industry specific practices and design methodology followed. Computational Fluid Dynamics is a very handy tool to study aerodynamic performance. Version 2.0 would also contain specific CFD examples and solution methodology followed to determine aerodynamic performance. 

Course Format

This version of the course contains videos lectures. The length of video varies from 20 minutes to 40 minutes. Each video lecture has application of explained concept to real life examples. Considering the number of concepts covered in each video lecture and required background study that you need to do, it is expected to finish this course in 4 weeks.

Course Syllabus

The course is divided into five lessons. Each lesson has a specific objective and is designed to satisfy the needs of subsequent lesson. It is recommended that you do not move to the next lesson until all the concepts in the lesson are well understood.

Lesson 1: Your Curious Mind

Knowingly or un-knowingly you must have come across aerodynamics subject or an effect. There are lot of products and practices in which aerodynamics play an important role. The objective of this lesson is to introduce you which are those products or practices in which the concept of aerodynamics plays an important role. This lesson will make you think, ask, and surprise about how important this subject is. After every concept, we will ask you a question “have you ever wonder why this happens in this way or why the product is designed in this way?” This lesson will not answer all your questions but the objective is to generate those questions in your mind. The examples given are from the domain of road and rail transport vehicles, high rise builds, air vehicles and sports baseball, cricket and football.

Lesson 2: Basic concepts – Part I

To develop understanding of the aerodynamics subject, there are few basic concepts needed. As the course is designed considering no necessary background knowledge, it is assumed that you are not familiar with most of the basic concepts. Considering required time to understand the concepts, this is divided into two parts. The Part I will cover concepts like relative motion, various types of forces acting on an object and Newton’s laws of motion. 

Lesson 3: Basic concepts – Part II

The Part II of basic concepts will cover various aspects of fluid forces acting on a moving object. It will cover pressure forces and Bernoulli’s principle. To understand viscous forces acting on a moving object, concepts like viscosity, boundary layer, and flow separation will be covered. A free body diagram of an object subjected to pressure and viscous forces will be discussed. An interesting phenomenon of Magnus effect will be explained at the end of lesson.

Lesson 4: Lift and drag

Lift and drag are two important concepts which come in picture for every aerodynamically designed object. This lesson will give more details about these two critical concepts. It would cover their definition, types and why they are generated. Concepts like positive and negative lift and their interesting applications will be covered. Various types of drag forces including viscous drag, pressure drag and form drag will be covered. The lesson will cover non dimensional numbers like lift and drag coefficients, their importance and calculation procedure. The lesson will also cover importance of lift to drag coefficient ratio.

Lesson 5: Design for Aerodynamics

The objective of this lesson is to introduce various parameters that need to be considered while designing the objects for good aerodynamics performance. This lesson will include various techniques used to improve aerodynamics performance. This will cover techniques used to minimize drag and maximize lift.

Lesson 6: Predicting aerodynamics performance using CFD

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a handy tool for predicting the aerodynamic performance. It acts as a virtual wind tunnel where one can test the performance and calculate lift and drag forces on an object. The objective of this lesson is to show you few of the examples where CFD is used as a performance prediction tool. The objective is not to show you detailed procedure to perform such study, but to show how data predicted by CFD is used to change the aerodynamic design of an object. CFD is most regularly used method during aerodynamic design of an object and this lesson will introduce that technique to you through few examples.

1. I don’t have an engineering background. Can I take this course?

Yes, you can. In-fact we have designed the course with this assumption only. We do not expect you to have an engineering background to attend this course. The course is designed for beginners and is self-contained. We though assume that you should have basic understanding of terms like velocity, pressure, and acceleration which are covered during schooling.

2. When I can start the course and how much time is needed to complete the course?

The course is available all the time. Time necessary to start the course is what you need to create a LearnCAx login :). Considering difficulty level, understanding capacity and necessary extra reading, on average, we expect this course to be finished in 4 weeks.

3. Is this course only for people interested in wing and aircraft design?

No. This course is for all of you who want to know more about the subject. You might be interested in creating conceptual model of car, you might want apply these concepts while constructing your house and deciding the orientation, this course is for all of you. The concepts covered hear are not only related to wing or aircraft design, but in-general applicable for interacting with air (or any fluid). 

4. How difficult is this course?

The course is designed for beginners and we believe that it’s easy for everyone.

5. I have few queries related to work I am doing. Can I contact you? 

As the course is designed for beginners, so you might have specific questions. Feel free to ask those questions using the link “Ask a Question” given on course page.

6. I have created some design and want to check if that’s good or not. How can I do that?

There are many ways but as per our evaluation and resources that might be accessible to you, we suggest using Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Although this needs you to learn CFD, but we feel that would be good investment if you looking for being in touch with aerodynamics subject. You can surely contact our faculty and share your design. We will provide you the correct guideline based on your design and your knowledge. 

7. Why there are no assignments and quizzes for the course? How do I check my knowledge?

This is V1.0 of the course. We are planning for V2.0 which would contain all other components you are requesting. Meanwhile, look for the textbook problems and try to solve them.

8. What next learning you suggest once this course is completed?

We suggest you to take a simple object and try to design it aerodynamically. You can start with airfoil (which is a 2D cross section of a wing) or a 2D section of a car. You can also look for our Computational Fluid Dynamics course so that you will have access to one technique to evaluate the aerodynamic performance of what you have designed.