Team for Advanced Flow Simulation and Modeling
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Simulation and Modeling of Large, Ram-Air Parachutes
Deployment of large, ram-air parachutes for heavy payloads and with good maneuvering capability is of major interest to the US Army and NASA. The size requirements of these parachutes make the drop test costly and the laboratory tests essentially impossible. The T*AFSM, in collaboration with US Army Natick Soldier Center, is developing advanced methods to simulate the deployment, gliding, maneuvering and landing stages of these parachutes. The methods take into account the fluid-structure coupling between the aerodynamics of the parachute, which depends on the instantaneous shape of the parachute, and the deformation of the parachute, which in turn depends on the aerodynamical forces acting on the parachute. The simulations are carried out on state-of-the-art HPC platforms, such as a CRAY T3E-1200. The figures above show a picture from an actual drop test, the air pressure distribution on the parachute canopy, and the stresses generated on the parachute fabric.
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