Article by UNIC’s Prof. Drikakis and his team selected as best by the premier journal Physics of Fluids

The article “Navigating the Unpredictable: Deep Learning’s Role in Mastering Turbulent Flows” was promoted as “Featured” by the prestigious journal of the American Institute of Physics

The article “Deep learning architecture for sparse and noisy turbulent flow data” by Professor Drikakis, UNIC Vice President for Global Partnerships and Executive Director of Research & Innovation Office, and his team, Dr Ioannis Kokkinakis and Dr Filippos Sofos, published in the premier journal Physics of Fluids of the American Institute of Physics, was selected by the Editors as one of the journal’s best and was chosen to be promoted as a Featured Article.

The work of Sofos, Drikakis, and Kokkinakis exemplifies the transformative potential of merging deep learning with fluid dynamics. Beyond the immediate applications, this model opens up new avenues for research and innovation across Science, Engineering and Medicine, offering a glimpse into a future where we can not only predict but also harness the power of nature’s most unpredictable forces. As we continue to explore the capabilities of artificial intelligence, the ripple effects of this study are set to extend far beyond the laboratory, impacting industries, environmental efforts, and our understanding of the natural world.

About the article

In the complex world of fluid dynamics, understanding turbulent flows—those unpredictable, swirling patterns seen in everything from cream stirred into coffee to hurricanes forming over the ocean—is crucial. Yet, capturing their essence, especially from sparse and noisy data, has been a longstanding challenge. Enter a groundbreaking study by researchers Filippos Sofos, Dimitris Drikakis, and Ioannis William Kokkinakis, who have developed a deep learning model that significantly advances our approach to studying these chaotic systems.

This model, rooted in the principles of artificial intelligence, specifically employs a convolutional neural network (CNN) to transform low-resolution and noisy images into clear, high-resolution depictions of turbulent flows. Such an advancement is not just academic; it has real-world applications that touch on various aspects of daily life and global challenges.

Aircraft Design and Safety: In the aerospace industry, understanding turbulent flows is key to designing safer and more efficient aircraft. Turbulent air can cause uncomfortable rides or even dangerous situations. The researchers’ model can help engineers advance the study of airflows around aircraft wings at a fraction of the current time and cost, leading to designs that minimize turbulence’s impact on flights.

Climate Science and Weather Prediction: Climate scientists can use this model to better understand the turbulent dynamics of the atmosphere and oceans. For instance, accurately reconstructing the turbulent flows in hurricane formation can improve prediction models, giving communities more time to prepare for severe weather events. Similarly, understanding ocean currents can help in modeling climate change scenarios with greater accuracy.

Medical Applications: In medicine, turbulent blood flow can indicate cardiovascular issues. The ability to reconstruct and analyze blood flow patterns from imperfect data could enhance diagnostic imaging techniques, such as MRI or ultrasound, making them more precise and leading to early detection of life-threatening conditions.

Renewable Energy: For the renewable energy sector, particularly wind farms, understanding and optimizing the interaction between wind and turbines is essential for efficiency. The model’s ability to reconstruct turbulent flows can lead to better placement of turbines and designs that extract more energy from the wind, accelerating our transition to green energy.

Environmental Conservation: Turbulent flows in rivers and oceans are crucial for ecosystems, affecting everything from nutrient distribution to the migration patterns of aquatic life. By providing a tool to study these flows in detail, the model can aid in conservation efforts, helping to preserve biodiversity and maintain healthy ecosystems.

Read more about the article here.