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  1. Brehm, Christop ; Pandya, Shishir (Ed.)
    Paraffin wax is a prominent solid fuel for hybrid rockets. The atomization process of the paraffin wax fuel into he hybrid rocket combustion involves the droplets pinching off from the fuel surface. Therefore, droplet formation and pinch-off dynam- ics is analyzed using a one-dimensional axisymmetric approximation to understand droplet size distribution and pinch-off time. A mixed finite element formulation is used to solve the numerical problem. The computational algorithm uses adaptive mesh refinement to capture singularity and runs self-consistently to calculate droplet elongation. The code is verified using the Method of Manufactured Solution (MMS) and validated against laboratory experiments. Moreover, paraffin wax simulations are explored for varying inlet radius and it is found that the droplet size increases very slightly with the increasing inlet radius. Also, the pinch-off time increases up to a point where it starts to decrease as we increase the inlet radius. This behavior leads to a conjecture for the theoretical maximum radius that the droplet approaches as the inlet radius increases, which is a motivation for the future work. 
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  2. Brehm, Christoph ; Pandya, Shishir (Ed.)
    Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and its uncertainty quantification are computationally expensive. We use Gaussian Process (GP) methods to demonstrate that machine learning can build efficient and accurate surrogate models to replace CFD simulations with significantly reduced computational cost without compromising the physical accuracy. We also demonstrate that both epistemic uncertainty (machine learning model uncertainty) and aleatory uncertainty (randomness in the inputs of CFD) can be accommodated when the machine learning model is used to reveal fluid dynamics. The demonstration is performed by applying simulation of Hagen-Poiseuille and Womersley flows that involve spatial and spatial-tempo responses, respectively. Training points are generated by using the analytical solutions with evenly discretized spatial or spatial-temporal variables. Then GP surrogate models are built using supervised machine learning regression. The error of the GP model is quantified by the estimated epistemic uncertainty. The results are compared with those from GPU-accelerated volumetric lattice Boltzmann simulations. The results indicate that surrogate models can produce accurate fluid dynamics (without CFD simulations) with quantified uncertainty when both epistemic and aleatory uncertainties exist. 
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  3. Brehm, Christoph ; Pandya, Shishir (Ed.)
    We have derived a 3-D kinetic-based discrete dynamic system (DDS) from the lattice Boltzmann equation (LBE) for incompressible flows through a Galerkin procedure. Expressed by a poor-man lattice Boltzmann equation (PMLBE), it involves five bifurcation parameters including relaxation time from the LBE, splitting factor of large and sub-grid motion scales, and wavevector components from the Fourier space. Numerical experiments have shown that the DDS can capture laminar behaviors of periodic, subharmonic, n-period, and quasi-periodic and turbulent behaviors of noisy periodic with harmonic, noisy subharmonic, noisy quasi-periodic, and broadband power spectra. In this work, we investigated the effects of bifurcation parameters on the capturing of the laminar and turbulent flows in terms of the convergence of time series and the pattern of power spectra. We have found that the 2nd order and 3rd order PMLBEs are both able to capture laminar and turbulent flow behaviors but the 2nd order DDS performs better with lower computation cost and more flow behaviors captured. With the specified ranges of the bifurcation parameters, we have identified two optimal bifurcation parameter sets for laminar and turbulent behaviors. Beyond this work, we are exploring the regime maps for a deeper understanding of the contributions of the bifurcation parameters to the capturing of laminar and turbulent behaviors. Surrogate models (to replace the PMLBE) are being developed using deep learning techniques to overcome the overwhelming computation cost for the regime maps. Meanwhile, the DDS is being employed in the large eddy simulation of turbulent pulsatile flows to provide dynamic sub-grid scale information. 
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