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Enhanced Modeling and Simulations of Hypersonics




Develop advanced multi-physics tools to improve estimation of hypersonic flowfields and phenomenologies


Hypersonic flight has been studied for decades, yet it still presents challenges in hypersonic vehicle design and analysis [1]. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques are routinely employed to yield high accuracy numerical estimates of hypersonic flowfields given specific geometry and boundary conditions. Benchmarking CFD modeling tools with experimental data, such as from wind tunnels, is important to verify and validate accuracy of simulations. Additionally, CFD predictions can assist in improving system design and performance, as well as with interpretation and analysis of measurements from tests [2]. Analysis of complex hypersonic flowfields typically require large computational grids, and long simulation run times even when parallel processing on supercomputers.

Accurate modeling of hypersonic flow under realistic flight conditions is complicated by the nonlinear and thermochemical nonequilibrium conditions experienced in the atmosphere [3]. Variations in atmospheric conditions, chemical reactions, vibrational excitation, ablation products, and gas-surface interactions further complicate accurate modeling of flowfields. The air can also become ionized under high enough Mach numbers which in turn affects the overall flowfield[4].

NGA seeks innovative modeling and simulation concepts for estimating hypersonic flowfields and phenomenologies. Enhanced modeling and simulation tools are needed to accurately and efficiently solve these complex fluid, thermal, kinetic, and structural problems using coupled multi-physics codes to assist with interpretation of observations [5]. Areas of interest include: coupling of CFD to ionized plasma, RF, and optical predictions; flowfield estimation from sparse measurements; CFD solutions for non-axisymmetric bodies; coupled flow-thermal-structural-vibrational analysis; advanced numerical techniques; improvements in chemical kinetics and turbulence models; and/or improvements in high performance CFD efficiency [6-11].


Phase I proposal should focus on demonstrating feasibility of one or more novel concepts for enhanced modeling and simulation of hypersonic flowfields and phenomenologies. The proposal should identify current methods and develop quantifiable metrics to demonstrate improvement over state-of-the-art. The proposal should demonstrate feasibility of the concept by verifying with publically available data.


The performer should expand the Phase I research to include feasibility of multiple concepts and perform verification and validation of those concepts. Additional quantifiable metrics should be developed to further demonstrate improvement over state-of-the-art. The Phase II proposal should focus on coupling solutions to a variety of the multi-physics problems described above.


The performer shall work with industry to make their novel methods and codes available as part of a wider multi-physics effort in hypersonics. Hypersonic flight vehicles, atmospheric flow thermochemistry, multi-physics codes

KEYWORDS: Hypersonic; Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)


10. Florent Duchaine et al., "Computational-Fluid-Dynamics-Based Kriging Optimization Tool for Aeronautical Combustion Chambers", Aeronautics and Astronautics, Volume 47, Number 3, March 2009.

11. Periklis Papadopoulos et al., "Current grid-generation strategies and future requirements in hypersonic vehicle design, analysis and testing", Applied Mathematical Modelling, Volume 23, Issue 9, September 1999.

1. Mark J. Lewis, "Hypersonic Flight: A Status Report", Science & Technology Policy Institute, July 2019.

2. Graham V. Candler et al., "Development of the US3D Code for Advanced Compressible and Reacting Flow Simulations", 53rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, AIAA, 2015.

3. Graham V. Candler and Robert MacCormack, "The computation of hypersonic ionized flows in chemical and thermal nonequlibrium", 26th Aerospace Sciences Meeting, AIAA, 1988.

4. Graham V. Candler and Robert MacCormack, "Computation of weakly ionized hypersonic flows in thermochemical nonequilibrium", Journal of Thermophysics and Heat Transfer, Volume 5, Number 3, July 1991.

5. Timothy R. Deschenes et al., "Recent Development and Application of Advanced Software Tools for Hypersonic Flowfieds and Signatures", HTSC 2019 Presentation, June 2019.

6. Ross S. Chaudhry et al., "Implementation of a Chemical Kinetics Model for Hypersonic Flows in Air for High-Performance CFD", AIAA Scitech 2020 Forum, AIAA, January 2020.

7. Sook-Ying Ho and Allan Paull, "Coupled thermal, structural and vibrational analysis of a hypersonic engine for flight test", Aerospace Science and Technology, Volume 10, Issue 5, July 2006.

8. Adam J. Culler et al., "Studies on Fluid-Structural Coupling for Aerothermoelasticity in Hypersonic Flow", Aeronautics and Astronautics, Volume 48, Number 8, August 2010.

9. Anubhav Dwivedi et al., "Transient growth analysis of oblique shock-wave/boundary-layer interactions at Mach 5.92", ArXiv, 2019.

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