Free-flight trajectory simulation of the ADEPT sounding rocket test using CFD

Jakob D. Hergert, Joseph M. Brock, Eric C. Stern, Michael C. Wilder, David W. Bogdanoff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


A computational study of the Adaptive Deployable Entry and Placement Technology (ADEPT) Sounding Rocket (SR-1) Test is presented using the US3D flow solver. ADEPT SR-1 is intended, in part, to assess the dynamic stability of this entry vehicle architecture. Given that no dynamic stability data exists for the ADEPT geometry, a limited ballistic range campaign has been performed to characterize the vehicle’s stability characteristics pre-flight for Mach numbers between 1.21 and 2.5. Here, this data is used to assess the accuracy of US3D’s free-flight CFD capability. Computed trajectories from US3D and experimental data show that the flow solver compares well in vehicle oscillation frequency, downrange distance, and oscillatory amplitude during high Mach number flight (Mavg = 2.36). For Mach numbers below 1.5, the solver under predicts total angle-of-attack by an average of ~ 16%, but compares well in oscillatory frequency and downrange distance. Additionally, a capability for simulating the trajectory of the flight article through the atmosphere using CFD is presented. This capability couples US3D’s free-flight capability to an atmosphere model that accounts for changes in free-stream density and temperature as the vehicle descends. Two simulations for the purpose of demonstrating the capability and viability of this approach are applied to SR-1 flight article, and some unique challenges are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication35th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference, 2017
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105012
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Event35th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference, 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: Jun 5 2017Jun 9 2017

Publication series

Name35th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference, 2017


Other35th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference, 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The primary author was supported through the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, Entry Systems Modeling Project, and ADEPT Project. Contract support was provided by AMA, Inc.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved.


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