Computational Combustion

Computational combustion laboratory is actively involved in numerical research related to the field of Combustion and Gas turbines.

Autonomous Helicopter

Helicopter laboratory at IIT Kanpur indulges in wide range of research activities related to Helicopter / VTOL vehicles. Primary focus is Design and Development of manned and unmanned autonomous VTOL vehicles of varied weight class. Recent focus has been the development of autonomous mini helicopter, this included design and development of avionics package (Sensing and actuation, Communication, Navigation, Automatic Flight Control and Ground Control).

Focus Areas

  • Flight Testing of autonomous Helicopter and expanding the utility by making the vehicle perform intelligent tasks
  • Structural design and development of a mini helicopter, test bed for performance measurements, control law design and validation
  • Design of flight vehicle
  • Micro Air Vehicles with Hover capability
  • Helicopter aeromechanics

Research Activities

  • Fundamental understanding of flight control
  • Stabilization of highly unstable vehicle
  • Correlation of theory and experiment for scale models
  • Experimental exposure to helicopter study
  • Development of ground station, on board electronics, wireless communication
  • Development of control algorithms for autonomous flight
  • Design of Micro and Mini Helicopters

Faculty Members

Checkout the helicopter video in outdoor flight.


Autonomous Hovering Micro Air Vehicles

Hover capable, autonomous Micro Air Vehicles are of immense interest due to their unique capabilities. The desired characteristics include capabilities such as auto-take off and landing, autonomous hover with velocity and position hold followed by autonomous flight with way-point navigation and obstacle avoidance. Several prototypes of such a vehicles has already been designed and built at IIT Kanpur. Various aspects of development of a fully autonomous flight vehicle with real world applications are being studied.

Video below shows, autonomous hover capability of MAV using velocity feedback in action.

This activity is part of the Helicopter Lab @IIT Kanpur.

Research Interests

  • Helicopter dynamics and aeroelasticity
  • Inverse flight dynamics for helicopters
  • Helicopter design
  • Design and analysis of hover capable MAVs and UAVs
  • Unconventional VTOL/STOL systems
  • Variable speed rotor

Group website:

Keywords: Micro/ Mini / Nano Air Vehicles (MAV), Autonomous systems

Flapping Wing Micro Air Vehicle

IIT Kanpur is actively involved in development of flapping wing Micro Air Vehicles through DRDO sponsored projects. Several prototypes have been constructed and tested in wind tunnel for loads measurement. A theoretical aerodynamic model has been developed to predict the loads generated by flapping wing vehicle, which has been used in optimization of wing twist.

Recently a variant of flapping wing vehicle with hover capability was also flight tested. See video below:

Group Website:

Keywords: Theoretical and Experimental Fluid Dynamics, Unsteady Aerodynamics, Birds’s and Insect’s Flight.

High Performance Computing

Flow past rotary oscillating cylinder for Re=150

The High Performance Computing Laboratory at the Aerospace Engineering Department of I.I.T. Kanpur - started by Prof. Tapan K Sengupta, has been an active place of research right from its inception in 1990. The emphasis of research is on developing high accuracy computing methods to aid in bridging the gap between theoretical and computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer.

Research Areas of HPCL includes:

Transition & Turbulence

  • Receptivity of shear layer: TS waves and bypass transition
  • Receptivity to localized excitation (acoustic, vortical & entropic sources): Streamwise & Crossflow instability o Vortex-induced instability/ bypass Transition
  • Leading Edge Contamination of Sweptback Wings
  • Jets, Acoustics & Instabilities o Free stream turbulence effects
  • NLF airfoil analysis & design for bypass transition
  • Transitional flow modeling - including FST effects o Receptivity - Supersonic Flows past projectiles/ rockets
  • Instabilities of mixed convection flows
  • Turbulence management

Unsteady Aerodynamics

  • Acceleration/ Deceleration effects
  • Aerodynamics of projectiles
  • Low Reynolds number flight & Micro-Air Vehicle
  • High angle of attack aerodynamics & non-linear dynamics
  • Chaos & POD analysis

Bluff Body Flows

  • Flow dynamics: vortex shedding
  • Robins-Magnus Effect
  • Nonlinear instability and multiple Hopf bifurcation: Dynamical system theoretic approach

Flow control

  • Bluff Body Flow Control by rotary oscillation
  • Suppression of vortex shedding by control cylinder in near-wake
  • Separation/ Transition control by plasma actuation for flow over airfoil

Scientific Computing, CFD and Numerical Methods

  • High Performance Parallel Computing
  • High Accuracy FD Methods for DNS/LES/DES via Multi-dimensional Filters & Compact Schemes
  • Over-set\ Chimera Grid Methods for Complex Geometries
  • Time Advancement Strategies & optimized DRP Schemes: Wave Dynamics in CFD, GFD
  • Numerical Instabilities: Signal & Error Propagation Dynamics
  • Spatial Filters for DNS/LES/DES: 1D and multidimensional filters
  • CCD Schemes: New developments for DNS
  • Reduced Order Modeling and POD

Theoretical Fluid Mechanics: Scientific Computing

  • Robins-Magnus Effect: Violation of Prandtl’s limit o Nonlinear Stability Theory: DNS & POD Application
  • Polygonal Vortices: Lid-Driven Cavity Problem
  • Universal Instability Modes: New Insight through DNS/POD for internal and External Flows
  • Bromwich Contour Integrals: Spatio-Temporal Growing Wave-Front Revealed
  • Receptivity at Low Frequencies: Klebanoff Modes Revealed
  • Bypass Transition & q waves: Role of upwind Filters

Group Website: