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High-Fidelity Prediction of Launch Vehicle Lift-off Acoustic Environment

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX14CM45C
Agency Tracking Number: 120054
Amount: $996,471.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T1.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2012
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-09-17
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-03-16
Small Business Information
701 McMillian Way NW, Suite D
Huntsville, AL 35806-2923
United States
DUNS: 185169620
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Robert Harris
 Principal Investigator
 (256) 726-1674
Business Contact
 Silvia Harvey
Title: Business Official
Phone: (256) 726-4858
Research Institution
 Mississippi State University
 Adrian Sescu
P. O. Box 9637
Mississippi State, AL 39762-9637
United States

 (662) 312-9986
 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization

Launch vehicles experience extreme acoustic loads during liftoff driven by the interaction of rocket plumes and plume-generated acoustic waves with ground structures. Currently employed predictive capabilities are too dissipative to accurately resolve the propagation of waves throughout the launch environment. Higher fidelity non-dissipative analysis tools are critically needed to design mitigation measures (such as water deluge) and launch pad geometry for current and future NASA and commercial launch vehicles. This project will develop and deliver breakthrough technologies to drastically improve acoustic loads predictions. An innovative hybrid CFD and Computational Aeroacoustics (CFD/CAA) method will be developed where established RANS/LES modeling will be used for predicting the acoustic generation physics, and a high-order accurate unstructured discontinuous Galerkin (DG) method will be employed to propagate acoustic waves across large distances using ideally suited high-order accurate schemes. This new paradigm enables: (1) Improved fidelity over linear methods; (2) Greatly reduced numerical dissipation and dispersion; and (3) Improved acoustics modeling for attenuation, diffraction, and reflection from complex geometry. A proof-of-concept was developed and successfully demonstrated during Phase I for benchmark applications as well as SLS prototype model launch environments. Phase II will deliver production CFD/CAA predictive capabilities with 4th-order spatial and temporal accuracy for near lossless acoustic propagation throughout the launch environment, which will provide NASA engineers with more than a two-fold increase in the range of resolvable frequencies over current methods.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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