32th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences

03.1 - Aerodynamics – CFD Methods and Validation


A. Aprovitola, University of Campania , Italy; L. Iuspa¹, G. Pezzella¹, A. Viviani¹; ¹University of Campania, Engineering Department., Italy

Over the last decades, several private companies, research centres and space agencies worldwide developed space vehicle concepts with new re-entry technologies to perform safe and affordable manned and unmanned Low Earth Orbit (LEO) missions. This paper deals with the development of a reliable design framework for the Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) of next generation reusable high-lift re-entry vehicles. A multidisciplinary aeroshape optimization procedure, for LEO missions, is performed using a parametric model able to promote the search for unconventional next generation aeroshapes. Low order fidelity methods are widely adopted in the optimization procedure to obtain several design candidates reasonably consistent with a set of mission requirements and constraints with an affordable computational time. Finally, optimal design candidates are also improved by performing high order fidelity methods to validate the trade-offs between the objective functions and the main design variables. Indeed, more reliable Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Structural simulations in a set of specified waypoints along with the re-entry trajectory, thus addressing design consistency and accuracy as well. CFD simulations will be carried out to address the aerothermal loading environment (i.e., pressure and convective heat flux loads) the vehicle must withstand during flight. Reynolds Average Navier-Stokes Simulation (RANS) with both perfect gas and thermo-chemical non-equilibrium air computations will be addressed to assess the flowfield that takes place past the vehicle at low-speed (e.g., landing phase) and high-speed (e.g., hypersonic flight) conditions, respectively. Structural simulations will also be performed to investigate the best cold structure layout suitable for the unconventional optimum lifting-body aeroshape generated by the MDO tool.

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