The von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI) is at the leading edge of Fluid Dynamic research for aerospace:
Aeronautics: aero-propulsion and energy conversion by means of rotating machines, performance of aircraft engines, lift performance
Space: space vehicle re-entry, thermal protection, cryogenic propellant management for spacecraft, electrical propulsion, CubeSat missions
The von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI) is a non-profit international educational and research organisation specialized in Fluid Dynamics, in the areas of Aeronautics & Space, Environmental & Industrial Flows, and Turbomachinery & Propulsion. What started in 1956 with international postgraduate education, has developed into a widely recognized center of excellence in fluid dynamics, combining education and research in a truly international and intercultural environment.
For aeronautical applications, VKI specializes in activities related to aero-propulsion and energy conversion by means of rotating machinery. Advanced aero-thermal research is carried out on the cold fan and compressor side, as well as on the hot turbine side. VKI teams up with the major engine manufacturers: VKI has been recognized a strategic research partner of the Safran group. VKI also performs research on high lift devices and on coatings to improve the lift of aircraft wings.
For space applications, VKI focuses on the modelling, simulation and experimental validation of atmospheric re-entry flows and thermal protection systems. VKI has recently executed in-flight testing and validation of re-entry, with the Qarman CubeSat. VKI is also active in cryogenic propellant management and is pioneering in electrical propulsion.
VKI operates more than 50 different testing facilities and wind tunnels. This infrastructure is the backbone of VKI's unique position in the world of Fluid Dynamics research; it allows VKI to study complex flows with speeds ranging from a few mm per second up to mach 14. The infrastructure is also the foundation for the cross-fertilization between experimental testing and numerical simulation. VKI acts as a reference laboratory for ESA.
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