Analysis of Hypersonic Vehicle Wakes
AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT
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As advancements are made with ballistic missiles, particularly in the area of hypersonic bodies, there is a growing need to advance the methods of tracking these new ballistic weapons. As a result, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center has asked the Air Force Institute of Technology to examine the wake region behind hypersonic bodies. A thorough understanding of the aerothermal phenomena and the chemical reactions occurring in the wake region will enable an advancement of tracking hypersonic bodies. This research examined the wake region behind a hypersonic body using computational fluid dynamics. This study used Pointwiseregistered trademark to develop a three-dimensional grid of the flowfield around a conic hypersonic body and extending into the wake region. The Langley Aerothermodynamic Upwind Relaxation Algorithm was used to solve the flowfield, including the wake, and all surface properties. The results from the simulation were used to characterize the wake region behind the hypersonic body and compare that to the flowfield surrounding the body. Although no flight test data was available and no published results could be found in this area of interest, the results had good agreement with previous hypersonic aerodynamic wake studies. Along with that, several interesting phenomena were discovered dealing with the aerothermal environment and chemical species present in the wake that could lead to advancements in the efforts of tracking hypersonic bodies.
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