Asee peer logo

Using The Tetr Uss Cfd Suite In Undergraduate Research

Download Paper |


2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.704.1 - 5.704.12



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Robert J Niewoehner

author page

Joshua Filbey

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 292

Using the TetrUSS CFD Suite in Undergraduate Research CDR Robert Niewoehner, USN ENS Joshua Filbey, USNR United States Naval Academy


With the growth in computational power and the availability of maturing software, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is crossing the threshold from a specialized discipline to a widely accessible tool. Specifically, the difficulty of the enabling mathematics and the challenge of mastering the available codes has heretofore restricted substantial application of CFD to graduate studies, or simplistic problems for undergraduates. Codes now available from commercial, academic and government sources seek to improve the accessibility of CFD and its utility to a wide range of applications.

NASA advertises the TetrUSS CFD system, developed and maintained by NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC), as "CFD for the non-expert user." Modules of the TetrUSS system provide graphical interfaces for the development of unstructured grids about surface definitions imported from common CAD tools, and the solution of a viscous flow within the grided volume. While in use by many expert CFD users, NASA’s expressed intent is to equip non-expert users interested in CFD's product rather than its process.

This paper chronicles the "non-expert" experience of an advanced undergraduate researcher and his faculty advisor in applying these tools to a complex, full-configuration aircraft for the purpose of analyzing a flight dynamics problem. Comments are provided on the adequacy of the available training, the ease of use of the ensemble of modules, the requisite academic preparation, and the quality of the results. Furthermore, the paper discusses both the present limitations for use in undergraduate settings, as well as viable applications.

I. Background

Early developmental flight tests of the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet by the principal author revealed unpredictable lateral handling in the Power Approach (PA) configuration at angles-of-attack between 12 and 15 degrees, a phenomena later named “PA wing drop.” As this was a critical flight condition for shipboard catapult takeoff, the problem had to be fixed decisively prior to the initial carrier-based testing. Prior to serious investigation, and hoping for a quick fix, a list of a dozen easy software variations to the flight control program were proposed, coded and slated for flight. Testing revealed that the closure of an aerodynamic vent at the wing root’s leading edge solved the problem without any adverse impact. The change was burned into all subsequent flight control software loads; and the development program put the problem behind them, pressing forward to attack the myriad other challenges unearthed daily by flight test. The

Niewoehner, R. J., & Filbey, J. (2000, June), Using The Tetr Uss Cfd Suite In Undergraduate Research Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8821

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2000 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015