Aerodynamic Heating of a Hypersonic Naval Projectile Launched At Sea Level

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Virginia Tech


Hypersonic flight at sea-level conditions induces severe thermal loads not seen by any other type of current hypersonic system. Appropriate design of the hypersonic round requires a solid understanding of the thermal environment. Numerous codes were obtained and assessed for their applicability to the problem under study, and outside of the GASP Conjugate Heat Transfer module, Navier-Stokes code from Aerosoft, Inc., no efficient codes are available that can model the aerodynamic heating response for a fully detailed projectile, including all subassemblies, over an entire trajectory. Although the codes obtained were not applicable to a fully detailed thermal soak analyses they were useful in providing insight into ablation effects. These initial trade studies indicated that ablation of up to 1.25 inches could be expected for a Carbon-Carbon nosetip in this flight environment. In order to capture the thermal soak effects a new methodology (BMA) was required. This methodology couples the Sandia aerodynamic heating codes with a full thermal finite element model of the desired projectile, using the finite element code ANSYS from ANSYS, Inc. Since ablation can be treated elsewhere it was not included in the BMA methodology. Various trajectories of quadrant elevations of 0.5, 10, 30, 50, and 80 degrees were analyzed to determine thermal time histories and maximum operating temperatures. All of the trajectories have the same launch condition, Mach 8 sea-level, and therefore will undergo the same initial thermal spike in temperature at the nose-tip of approximately 3,100 K (5600R). Of the five trajectories analyzed the maximum internal temperatures experienced occurred for the 50 degree quadrant elevation trajectory. This trajectory experienced temperatures in excess of 1,000 K (1800R) for more than 80% of its flight time. The BMA methodology was validated by comparisons with experiment and computational fluid solutions with an uncertainty of 10% at a cost savings of over three orders of magnitude.



Finite element method, projectile, computational fluid dynamics, aeroheating, aerodynamic heating, hypersonic, EM Railgun