Advanced Analysis and Design Tool for Scramjet Air-frame Propulsion Integration
ABSTRACT: This SBIR program provides the GHI team with the opportunity to integrate state-of-the-art Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes into a scramjet engine analysis tool that will enable the rapid design, simulation, and optimization of scramjet engines within an airframe-integrated context. A successful effort will produce a scramjet engine analysis tool that will reduce the time and effort required to setup and analyze complex engine geometries while allowing user-selectable fidelity levels ranging from steady-state RANS simulations to unsteady hybrid RANS/LES with high-order low-dissipation numerics. The Phase I program focuses on the development of geometry manipulation tools and the automation and streamlining of the current approach used to grid and simulate the flow within these engines. During the program, generalized scramjet engine grid topologies will be developed with the intent of automating the grid generation process during the Phase II effort. To demonstrate the utility of the scramjet engine simulation and analysis tools, simulations will be performed on a canonical flowpath. In this demonstration, a low-fidelity RANS simulation will be compared to a high-fidelity hybrid RANS/LES simulation of the combustor and nozzle. Comparisons of the engine performance will be made to quantify the similarities and differences between fidelity of the numerical methods. BENEFIT: At the end of the proposed Phase I and Phase II program, the GHI/Candler team will possess high-fidelity airframe-integrated scramjet combustor simulation capabilities for use in the evaluation, design, and optimization cycles. These capabilities will be directly extendable to include various scramjet engine types and permit other analysis methodologies in future work. These tools will combine efficient CFD solvers, grid and surface generators, and could be extended to include sensitivity solvers, thermal solvers, and optimization algorithms into one advanced high-fidelity simulation and design (and analysis) environment. In addition, the Phase I and Phase II program will generate a much broader understanding of scramjet combustor flowfields utilizing current high-fidelity CFD methods with advanced chemistry modeling. Using these capabilities, the GHI/Candler team will seek to work with both the US government (DoD and NASA) and industry to use these tools to study and design air-frame integrated scramjet combustors. The development of an advanced high-fidelity CFD grid generation and simulation toolset based on the US3D solver could provide the GHI/Candler team with the opportunity to support the AFRL through engineering services and tool support. Additionally, our team would pursue the development of a license structure for the use of our toolset to enable the further development and refinement of the design and analysis tool, and to keep the flow physics of the solvers up-to-date.
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