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Behavior of a Parafoil - Fluid/Structure Interaction Problem

Johnny Wu

Principal Investigator:
Professor Tayfun E. Tezduyar, T*AFSM

This project involves a fluid-structure interaction problem analyzing the behavior of a parafoil subjected to turbulent flow using the finite element method. The software used to simulate this problem was developed by the T*AFSM. In this project, Mr. Wu was helped by Dr. Vinay Kalro, at that time a research associate supervised by Tezduyar.

Part I: Rigid Parafoil- Flow Simulation Problem

The first part of the project involved a fluid interaction problem analyzing the coefficients of lift and drag of the parafoil at different angles of attack. Three differently shaped parafoils were used. The first mesh was a open inlet mesh. The second mesh was a closed inlet mesh. And the third mesh was a rounded closed inlet mesh. Various refinements were also used to test the coefficients of lift and drag. Triangular elements were used in these unstructured meshes. Theses meshes were created with 2DModelG. The code was run on a multiprocessor SGI Onyx.

Mesh 1
Mesh 2
Mesh 3

Part II: Deformable Parafoil - Fluid-Structure Interaction Problem

The next step was to see how a deformable parafoil anchored to one point would look like under a turbulent flow. The numerical methodology is based on advanced finite element formulations and implementation of these formulations on parallel supercomputers.

Mesh 1