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Guided Missile Configuration Design using CFDExpert-Missile

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This work was pursued to demonstrate the utility of CFDExpert-Missile for configuration design of state-of-the-art guided missiles. The design of an agile guided missile is a delicate balance between aerodynamic stability and control effectiveness from tail fin deflection. Therefore, precision guided missiles often employ multiple control surfaces such as tail fins, wings, canards and strakes. Reliable design of complex missile configurations is not possible using traditional DATCOM database, which gives very rough estimates of aero coefficients.

Zeus Numerix has developed a customized CFD package for quick and high fidelity aero analysis of missile and rocket configurations. Using backend scripts, the package generates structured mesh over complex missile configurations that may have any of the several nose shape profiles, control surfaces with deflection, wire tunnels and launch shoes. The quality of structured meshs makes it suitable for simulations for cruise conditions, for control surface effectiveness, for high angle of attack aerodynamics and for estimating heat flux at leading edge surfaces.

Illustration
Versatility of CFDExpert-Missile in Analyzing Various Missile Configurations

One of our customers undertook a benchmarking exercise of CFDExpert-Missile against wind tunnel data of an existing guided missile. The coefficients important for stability and control i.e. CNα and CNδ were predicted within 3% of wind tunnel values. Due to automation, the analysis (including geometry and meshing) could be completed within a few hours. The customization of CFDExpert-Missile made it possible for system designers to evaluate aerodynamic data without entering into th complexity of CFD process.

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