The calculation of hydrodynamic impact on reentry vehicle during splashdown

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The reentry vehicle of the transportation spacecraft that is being created by RSC Energia in regular mode makes soft landing on land surface using a parachute system and thruster devices. But in not standard situations the reentry vehicle also is capable of executing a splashdown. In that case, it becomes important to define the hydrodynamics impact on the reentry vehicle at the moment of the first contact with the surface of water and during submersion into water medium, and to study the dynamics of the vehicle behavior at more recent moments of time.

This article presents results of numerical studies of hydrodynamics forces on the conical vehicle during splashdown, done with the FlowVision software. The paper reviews the cases of the splashdown with inactive solid rocket motors on calm sea and the cases with interactions between rocket jets and the water surface. It presents data on the allocation of pressure on the vehicle in the process of the vehicle immersion into water medium and dynamics of the vehicle behavior after splashdown. The paper also shows flow structures in the area of the reentry vehicle at the different moments of time, and integral forces and moments acting on the vehicle.

For simulation process with moving interphases in the FlowVision software realized the model VOF (volume of fluid). Transfer of the phase boundary is described by the equation of volume fraction of this continuous phase in a computational cell. Transfer contact surface is described by the convection equation, and at the surface tension is taken into account by the Laplace pressure. Key features of the method is the splitting surface cells where data is entered the corresponding phase. Equations for both phases (like the equations of continuity, momentum, energy and others) in the surface cells are accounted jointly.

Keywords: FlowVision, numerical simulation, splashdown, re-entry vehicle, VOF-method, two-phase simulation, transfer of interphase boundaries, aerodynamic properties, dynamic motion
Citation in English: Computer Research and Modeling, 2017, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 37-46
DOI: 10.20537/2076-7633-2017-9-37-46

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