Numerical Simulation and Experimental Validation of a Hypersonic Flow for

Numerical Simulation and Experimental Validation of a Hypersonic Flow for

S. Reichel R. Groll

Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany

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The subject of interest is the validation of a 3-D numerical computer model of a hypersonic flow around double cone geometry. The double cone geometry represents a generic space vehicle which enters the atmosphere at extremely high velocity. This leads to complex flow phenomena around the space vehicle. In this paper the flow-field around the space vehicle is investigated. Experimental data is obtained for different double-cone geometries mounted inside a hypersonic wind-tunnel. During the experiments the Mach number is equal to 9. Three different geometries and four different operating conditions are the subject of this study. Because of the short test period of less than 200 ms a measurement of temperatures and local velocities is not possible during test. Therefore, the computational model is used. The numerical solver is based on the compressible Navier–Stokes equations and implements an adaptive meshing tool. This solver is used for flow-field simulations of re-entry phenomena. The cell refinement tool adapts the local cell length to the density gradient. In this way, all shock-waves receive higher resolution than the remaining mesh and the solver shows good agreement with the experimental results while minimizing computational cost and time. For this purpose of this study a basic open source solver is used and modified and solutions are validated on experimental data. The aim of this paper is to show a good agreement of experimental pressure measurements and numerical results and to estimate results of the temperature field, the velocity field and the local Mach number using the numerical model.


CFD, compressible flow, hypersonic, Navier–Stokes equations, OpenFOAM, reentry, supersonic


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