Assessment of Buffet Forcing Function Development Process Using Unsteady Pressure Sensitive Paint


A wind tunnel test was conducted at the Ames Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel to characterize the transonic buffet environment of a generic launch vehicle forebody. The test examined a highly instrumented version of the Coe and Nute Model 11 test article first tested in the 1960s. One of the measurement techniques used during this test was unsteady pressure sensitive paint (uPSP) developed at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex. This optical measurement technique measured fluctuating pressures at over 300,000 locations on the surface of the model. The high spatial density of these measurements provided an opportunity to examine in depth the assumptions underpinning the development of buffet forcing functions (BFFs) used in the development of the Space Launch System vehicle. The comparison of discrete-measurement-based BFFs to BFFs developed by continuous surface pressure integration indicates that the current BFF development approach under predicts low frequency content of the BFFs while over predicting high frequency content. Coherence-based adjustments employed to reduce over prediction in the surface integration of discrete pressure measurements contribute to the inaccuracy of the BFFs and their implementation should be reevaluated

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