Detached-eddy simulation of capsule wake flows and comparison to wind-tunnel test data

Alan M. Schwing, Graham V. Candler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This work examines numerical simulation of supersonic, subsonic, and transonic flows over a bluff body using several numerical techniques. Comparisons between computational fluid dynamics predictions and wind-tunnel test data are shown. The wind-tunnel test used a 7.66%-scale model of the crew module for NASA's multipurpose crew vehicle. A variety of freestream conditions consisting of three Mach numbers and three angles of attack are considered. The wind-tunnel test data include time-averaged integrated forces and moments, static pressure port measurements, and unsteady frequency response. Results obtained using the Spalart-Allmaras Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes turbulence model are compared to solutions computed using detached-eddy simulation. Furthermore, low-dissipation numerical fluxes are applied in order to assess their effect on solution fidelity. Across the cases examined, the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes model has difficulty matching the vehicle surface pressures. For supersonic and transonic flows, detached-eddy simulation agrees well with the experiment. Subsonic flows still prove difficult for the methods explored in this work, but detached-eddy simulation and low-dissipation numerical fluxes provide the most accurate prediction of the test data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-449
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was sponsored by the NASA Johnson Space Center Academic Fellowship. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of NASA, the NASA Johnson Space Center, or the U.S. Government.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2014 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.


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