Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Applied Science


This dissertation discusses the mathematical existence and the numerical identification of linear and nonlinear aerodynamic impulse response functions. Differences between continuous-time and discrete-time system theories, which permit the identification and efficient use of these functions, will be detailed. Important input/output definitions and the concept of linear and nonlinear systems with memory will also be discussed. It will be shown that indicial (step or steady) responses (such as Wagner's function), forced harmonic responses (such as Theodorsen's function or those from doublet lattice theory), and responses to random inputs (such as gusts) can all be obtained from an aerodynamic impulse response function. This will establish the aerodynamic discrete-time impulse response function as the most fundamental and computationally efficient aerodynamic function that can be extracted from any given discrete-time, aerodynamic system. The results presented in this dissertation help to unify the understanding of classical two-dimensional continuous-time theories with modern three-dimensional, discrete-time theories.;Nonlinear aerodynamic impulse responses are identified using the Volterra theory of nonlinear systems. The theory is described and a discrete-time kernel identification technique is presented. The kernel identification technique is applied to a simple nonlinear circuit for illustrative purposes. The method is then applied to the nonlinear viscous Burger's equation as an example of an application to a simple CFD model. Finally, the method is applied to a three-dimensional aeroelastic model using the CAP-TSD (Computational Aeroelasticity Program - Transonic Small Disturbance) code and then to a two-dimensional model using the CFL3D Navier-Stokes code.;Comparisons of accuracy and computational cost savings are presented. Because of its mathematical generality, an important attribute of this methodology is that it is applicable to a wide range of nonlinear, discrete-time systems.



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