3-D Parachute Descent Analysis Using Coupled Computational Fluid Dynamic and Structural Codes
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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A computational tool that models the terminal descent characteristics of a single or a cluster of parachutes is a technology that is needed by parachute designers and engineers. As part of a technology program annex TPA, a joint effort between the U.S. Army Natick Research, Development, and Engineering Center NRDEC and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory ARL to develop this computational tool is now under way. As a first effort, attempts are being made to analyze both two-dimensional 2- D and three-dimensional 3-D flow fields around a parachute using a coupling procedure in which the fluid dynamics are coupled to 2-D and 3-D structural dynamic SD codes. This effort uses computational fluid dynamic CFD codes to calculate a pressure field, which is then used as an input load for the SD code. Specifically, this report presents the methods and results of the flow field plus the structural characteristics of a single axisymmetric parachute and a 3-D gore configuration for the terminal descent velocity. Computed results have been obtained using the payload weight and unstretched constructed geometry of the canopies as input. Significant progress has been made in determining the terminal descent flow field along with the terminal shape of the parachute. A discussion of the fluid and structural dynamics codes, coupling procedure, and the associated technical difficulties is presented. Examples of the codes current capabilities are shown.
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