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Ray LeBeau, Ph.D., P.E.

Associate Professor; Associate Department Chair


Ph.D. in Planetary Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
M.S. in Engineering Physics, University of Virginia
B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia

Research Interests

His research focus is computational fluid dynamics, but over a broad range of topics including flow control, aerodynamic design optimization, unmanned aerial vehicle design, inflatable wings, plasma actuators, cluster computer design, performance of computational codes, and the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune

Labs and Facilities

Fluid Systems Laboratory
Subsonic Wind Tunnel

There is a 28x40 inch closed-throat, open circuit low speed wind tunnel, that is capable of continuous air speeds up to 150 mph. A six component strain gauge balance with computerized data acquisition and analysis using LabVIEW is available. A helium bubble generator unit is available for flow visualization studies. A Laser Doppler Velocimetry system is available for flow measurements. This facility is utilized for undergraduate laboratory instruction. Students and faculty use this facility for model testing and experimental research. This facility is also used for graduate research as well as externally funded research.

There is a 12X12 inch closed-throat, open circuit low speed wind tunnel, that is capable of air speeds up to 120 mph. A four component strain gage balance is available for measuring forces on a sting mounted model. This facility is primarily used for undergraduate laboratory instruction.

Supersonic Wind Tunnel
There is a 4x4 inch supersonic blow down wind tunnel with speed to Mach 4. A four component strain gauge balance and computerized data reduction system is available. Flow visualization in the supersonic wind tunnel is done through a Schlieren Optical System. This facility is used primarily for undergraduate laboratory instruction.

Water Tunnel
There is a water tunnel (Eidetics 1520) for flow visualization studies as well as investigating other fluid flow behavior past bodies. A dynamic model support is available. This facility is used for undergraduate laboratory instruction as well as graduate research. A shear layer water tunnel is also available. There exists a state of the art Digital Particle Image Velocimetry System (DPIV) along with high-speed data acquisition system for flow visualization & analysis in the two water tunnels.

Publications and Media Placements

Printed Archival Peer-Reviewed Journals
de Pater, I., L.A. Sromovsky, Heidi B. Hammel, P.M. Fry, R.P. LeBeau, K. Rages, M. Showalter, K. Matthews, 2011. Post-equinox Observations of Uranus: Berg’s Evolution, Vertical Structure, and Track towards the Equator. Icarus, 215, 332-345. doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2011.06.022

Hauser, Th. and R.P. LeBeau, Jr., 2010. Optimization of a Computational Fluid Dynamics Code for the Memory Hierarchy: A Case Study. International Journal for High Performance Computing Applications, 24, 299-318. doi: 10.1177/1094342009358413

Hammel, H.B., L.A. Sromovsky, P.M. Fry, K. Rages, M. Showalter, I. de Pater, M. van Dam, R.P. LeBeau, and X. Deng, 2009. The Dark Spot in the Atmosphere of Uranus in 2006: Discovery, Description, and Dynamical Simulations. Icarus 201, Issue 1, p. 257-271. doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2008.08.019

Santhanakrishnan, A., D.A. Reasor, Jr., and R.P. LeBeau, Jr., 2009. Characterization of Linear Plasma Synthetic Jet Actuators in an Initially Quiescent Medium. Physics of Fluids, 21, Issue 4, 043601, 18 pages. doi: 10.1063/1.3097004

Peer-Reviewed Conference Papers Zhang, F., K.J. Ghobadi, R.P. LeBeau, Jr., and M. McQuilling, 2013. Examination of Three Dimensional Flow over a Chambered Inflatable Wing. Accepted to the 31st AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference, San Diego, CA. R.P. LeBeau, Jr. and Cs. Palotai, 2013. In Search of Links Between Terrestrial Hurricanes and Drifting Ice Giant Vortices. Accepted to the 5th AIAA Atmospheric and Space Environments Conference, San Diego, CA.

Ghobadi, K.J., E. Pifer, R.P. LeBeau, Jr., G. Bramesfeld, and M. McQuilling, 2012. A Computational and Experimental Investigation of Flow over an Inflatable Wing. 30th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference, AIAAA-2012-2899, New Orleans, LA, June 26.

Warning, S.W., R.P. LeBeau, Jr., Cs. Palotai, and X. Deng, 2012. Effects of Hemispheric Circulation on Uranian Atmospheric Dynamics and Methane Depletion. 4th AIAA Atmospheric and Space Environments Conference, AIAA-2012-2931, New Orleans, LA, June 26.

Ghobadi, K.J., R.P. LeBeau, Jr., and Th. Hauser, 2012. Computational Testing of Inflatable Airfoils for Improved Design. 50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, AIAA-2012-1213, Nashville, TN, January 12.

Warning, S.W., R.P. LeBeau, Jr., Cs. Palotai, and X. Deng, 2012. An Examination of the Local Dynamics of Ice Giant Atmospheric Phenomena. 50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, AIAA-2012-0561, Nashville, TN, January 10.

Hauser, Th., T.A. Johansen, and R.P. LeBeau, Jr., 2011. Computational Optimization of a Low Reynolds Number Inflatable Airfoil. 20th AIAA Computational Fluid Dynamics Conference, AIAA-2011-3534, Honolulu, HI, June 27-30.

LeBeau, R.P., Jr., S. W. Warning, and Cs. Palotai, 2011. Orographic Cloud Development Paired With Atmospheric Vortex Dynamics on Uranus and Neptune. 3rd AIAA Atmospheric and Space Environments Conference, AIAA-2011-3202, Honolulu, HI, June 27-30.

Takahashi, D., and R.P. LeBeau, Jr., 2011. Computational Investigation of Reynolds Number Effects on Flow over Inflatable Airfoils.49th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, AIAA 2011-0337, Orlando, FL, January, 4-7.

LeBeau, R.P., X. Deng, and C. Palotai, 2010.The Influence of Persistent Companion Clouds on Geophysical Vortex Dynamics, 40th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference and Exhibit, AIAA 2010-4300, Chicago, IL, Jun 28-Jul 1

Conference Abstracts
LeBeau, R.P., Jr., G. Bramesfeld, S.W. Warning, and Cs. Palotai, 2012. Examining Atmospheric Conditions for the Potential Exploration of Gas Giant Vortices with Autonomous Gliders. 31st Congress of the Organisation Scientific et Technique Internationale du Vol a Voile (OSTIV), Uvalde, TX August 8-15.

Warning, S.W., R.P. LeBeau, Jr., and Cs. Palotai, 2011. Orographic Cloud Formation and Evolution about Ice Giant Vortices, 36th Annual Dayton-Cincinnati Aerospace Science Symposium, Dayton, OH, March 1

Conference Posters
LeBeau, R.P., Jr., S.W. Warning, Cs. Palotai, and X. Deng, 2012. A Closer Examination of the Joint Behavior of Dark Spots and their Companion Clouds on the Ice Giants. 44th Annual Meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences, Reno, NV October 14-19.

LeBeau, R.P., Jr., Cs. Palotai, X. Deng, and S.W. Warning, 2011. A Numerical Examination of Companion Cloud-Vortex Morphology on the Ice Giants. 43rd Annual Meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences, Nantes, France, October 3-7.

LeBeau, R.P., Jr., C. Palotai, and X. Deng, 2010. Simulating Ice Giant Vortices and their Bright Companion Clouds. 42nd Annual Meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences, Pasadena, CA, October 3-8, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 42, 1023

Professional Organizations and Associations

LeBeau is currently an Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers, and the American Astronomical Society, Division for Planetary Sciences. He is also a registered as a Professional Engineer in Kentucky.

Community Work and Service

Ray LeBeau joined the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering department at Parks College in 2010, previously having worked at the University of Kentucky in the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Physics and Astronomy. LeBeau is an author on more than 60 journal and conference papers and has served as advisor for more than 15 M.S. and Ph.D. students.