St. Louis, Missouri
June 18, 2000
June 18, 2000
June 21, 2000
5.704.1 - 5.704.12
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.
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. https://peer.asee.org/8821
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