Numerical Simulation of Hypersonic Aerodynamics and the Computational Needs for the Design of an Aerospace Plane

by David Shiao-Kung Liu


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This Note records the results of a review and analysis of the status of the computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling techniques related to the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) operation. The research sought to evaluate independently the degree of uncertainty and the technical risk involved in predicting the NASP performance using numerical simulation of aerothermal and chemical/combustion processes. This Note covers the technical review portion and identifies the areas for research emphasis so that the predictive reliability of the NASP's potential performance parameters can be improved. The author urges that an effective government/industry relationship be established at the technical level so that research codes developed in government labs can become production codes that designers can use. He also suggests that the uncertainties in the CFD simulation results be estimated and published as a function of the vehicle speed and location along the vehicle (tip to tail), so that the NASP design teams and policymakers can estimate the consequences of these uncertainties on vehicle performance.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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