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The deployment of electric vertical/short takeoff and landing aircraft has been put forth as a solution for alleviating rising traffic congestion stemming from urbanization and on-demand delivery. A limited understanding of emerging energy storage systems coupled with the use of archaic tools for modeling unconventional configurations has however plagued the development of such novel aircraft. To compound problems, the precise impacts of introducing entire fleets of vehicles on the electric power grid, the implications for a finite supply of natural resources, and lastly the effects on human quality of living and wildlife have yet to be distilled. In this talk, I will discuss a collection of ongoing research efforts geared toward tackling many of the technical challenges that spur out of the interactions between the critical domains of noise and energy. This includes the development of computational approaches to 1) complement the experimental examination of battery-electric propulsion architectures and 2) generate accurate acoustic predictions of UAM aircraft performing realistic maneuvers. By quantifying the uncertainties and sensitivities of such complex systems, substantial progress toward sustainable aviation can be realized.
About the speaker:
Matthew Clarke is a Boeing School of Engineering Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT. His research focuses on aircraft design, aerodynamics, and aeroacoustics, with an emphasis on the analysis and optimization of electric vehicles for urban air mobility. Dr. Clarke is a Tau Beta Pi Fellow and earned his B.S. from Howard University in Mechanical Engineering and both his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in Aeronautics and Astronautics. He also serves the V/STOL Technical Committee of AIAA, where he is responsible for organizing the 2023 International Powered Lift Conference co-hosted with the Society of Automotive Engineers, the Vertical Flight Society, and the Royal Aeronautical Society. Before joining MIT, Dr. Clarke also worked as an aeroacoustics engineer at A3 by Airbus and briefly as a battery modeling data scientist at Toyota Research Institute in the Accelerated Materials Design & Discovery Division.