On computations of the integrated space shuttle flowfield using overset grids


Numerical simulations using the thin-layer Navier-Stokes equations and chimera (overset) grid approach were carried out for flows around the integrated space shuttle vehicle over a range of Mach numbers. Body-conforming grids were used for all the component grids. Testcases include a three-component overset grid - the external tank (ET), the solid rocket booster (SRB) and the orbiter (ORB), and a five-component overset grid - the ET, SRB, ORB, forward and aft attach hardware, configurations. The results were compared with the wind tunnel and flight data. In addition, a Poisson solution procedure (a special case of the vorticity-velocity formulation) using primitive variables was developed to solve three-dimensional, irrotational, inviscid flows for single as well as overset grids. The solutions were validated by comparisons with other analytical or numerical solution, and/or experimental results for various geometries. The Poisson solution was also used as an initial guess for the thin-layer Navier-Stokes solution procedure to improve the efficiency of the numerical flow simulations. It was found that this approach resulted in roughly a 30 percent CPU time savings as compared with the procedure solving the thin-layer Navier-Stokes equations from a uniform free stream flowfield

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