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A method to efficiently generate a complete aerodynamic description for projectile
flight dynamic modelling is described.

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body dynamic results to generate aerodynamic

models for projectile ight simulation

MCostello

1

and J Sahu

2

1

School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

2

Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, US Army Research Laboratory, Maryland, USA

The manuscript was received on 29 October 2007 and was accepted after revision for publication on 23 June 2008.

DOI: 10.1243/09544100JAERO304

Abstract: A method to efciently generate a complete aerodynamic description for projectile

ight dynamic modelling is described. At the core of the method is an unsteady, time accurate

computational uiddynamic simulationthat is tightly coupledtoa rigidprojectile ight dynamic

simulation. Aset of short time snippets of simulatedprojectile motionat different Machnumbers

is computed and employed as baseline data. For each time snippet, aerodynamic forces and

moments and the full rigid body state vector of the projectile are known. With time synchronized

air loads and state vector information, aerodynamic coefcients can be estimated with a simple

tting procedure. By inspecting the conditionnumber of the tting matrix, it is straightforward to

assess the suitability of the time history data to predict a selected set of aerodynamic coefcients.

The technique it is exercised on an exemplar n-stabilized projectile with good results.

Keywords: projectile, ight simulation, computational uid dynamics

1 INTRODUCTION

Four basic methods to predict aerodynamic forces

and moments on a projectile in atmospheric ight are

commonly used in practice: empirical methods, wind

tunnel testing, computational uid dynamic (CFD)

simulation, and spark range testing. Empirical meth-

ods have been found very useful in conceptual design

of projectiles where rapid and inexpensive estimates

of aerodynamic coefcients are needed. These tech-

niques aerodynamically describe the projectile with a

set of geometric properties (diameter, number of ns,

nose type, nose radius, etc.) and catalog aerodynamic

coefcients of many different projectiles as a function

of these features. This datais t tomulti-variable equa-

tions to create generic models for aerodynamic coef-

cients as a function of these basic projectile geometric

properties. The database of aerodynamic coefcients

as a functionof projectile features is typically obtained

from wind tunnel or spark range tests. This approach

gia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, USA. email:

mark.costello@ae.gatech.edu

to projectile aerodynamic coefcient estimation is

used in several software packages including Missile

DATCOM, PRODAS, and AP98 [16]. The advantage of

this technique is that it is a general method applica-

ble to any projectile. However, it is the least accurate

method of the four methods mentioned above, par-

ticularly for new congurations that fall outside the

realm of projectiles used to form the basic aerody-

namic database. Wind tunnel testing is often used

during projectile development programs to converge

on ne details of the aerodynamic design of the shell

[7, 8]. In wind tunnel testing, a specic projectile is

mounted in a wind tunnel at various angles of attack

with aerodynamic forces and moments measured at

various Mach numbers using a sting balance. Wind

tunnel testing has the obvious advantage of being

based on direct measurement of aerodynamic forces

andmoments onthe projectile. It is also relatively easy

to change the wind tunnel model to allow detailed

parametric effects to be investigated. The main dis-

advantage to wind tunnel testing is that it requires a

wind tunnel and as such is modestly expensive. Fur-

thermore, dynamic derivatives such as pitch and roll

damping as well as Magnus force and moment coef-

cients are difcult to obtain in a wind tunnel and

JAERO304 IMechE 2008 Proc. IMechE Vol. 222 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering

1068 MCostello and J Sahu

require a complex physical wind tunnel model. Over

the past couple of decades, tremendous strides have

been made in the application of CFD to prediction

of aerodynamic loads on air vehicles, including pro-

jectiles. These methods are increasingly being used

throughout the weapon development cycle includ-

ing early in a program to create relatively low cost

estimates of aerodynamic characteristics and later

in a program to supplement and reduce expensive

experimental testing. In CFD simulation, the fun-

damental uid dynamic equations are numerically

solved for a specic conguration. The most sophis-

ticated computer codes are capable of unsteady time

accurate computations using the NavierStokes equa-

tions. Examples of these tools include, for example,

CFD++, Fluent, and Overow-D. CFD is computa-

tionally expensive, requires powerful computers to

obtain results in a reasonably timely manner, and

requires dedicated engineering specialists to drive

these tools [924]. Spark range aerodynamic testing

has long been considered the gold standard for pro-

jectile aerodynamic coefcient estimation. It is the

most accuratemethodfor obtainingaerodynamicdata

on a specic projectile conguration. In spark range

aerodynamic testing, a projectile is red through an

enclosed building. At a discrete number of points dur-

ing the ight of the projectile (<30) the state of the

projectile is measured using spark shadowgraphs [25

29]. The projectile state data is subsequently t to

a rigid six-degree-of-freedom projectile model using

the aerodynamic coefcients as the tting parame-

ters [30]. While this technique is the most accurate

method for obtaining aerodynamic data on a specic

projectile conguration, it is usually the most expen-

sive alternative, requires a spark range facility, and

strictly speaking is only valid for the specic projec-

tile conguration tested. More recently, aerodynamic

parameters have been estimated using a combination

of radar data and on-board instrumentation [31, 32].

Various researchers have usedCFDtoestimate aero-

dynamic coefcient estimation of projectiles. Early

work focused on Euler solvers applied to steady ow

problems while more recent work has solved the

Reynolds-averaged NavierStokes equations (RANS)

and large eddy simulation NavierStokes equations

for both steady and unsteady conditions [924]. For

example, to predict pitch damping Weinacht pre-

scribed projectile motion to mimic a typical pitch

damping wind tunnel test in a CFD simulation to esti-

mate the different components of the pitch damping

coefcient of a n-stabilized projectile [33]. Excel-

lent agreement between computed and measured

pitch damping was attained. Algorithm and comput-

ing advances have also led to coupling of CFD codes

to projectile rigid body dynamic (RBD) codes for sim-

ulation of free ight motion of a projectile in a time

accurate manner. Aerodynamic forces and moments

are computed with the CFD solver while the free

ight motion of the projectile is computed by inte-

grating the RBD equations of motion. Sahu achieved

excellent agreement between spark range measure-

ments and a coupled CFD/RBD approach for a nned

stabilized projectile [34]. Projectile position and ori-

entation at down range locations consistent with a

spark range test were extracted from the output of the

CFD/RBD software to compute aerodynamic coef-

cients. Standard range reduction software was utilized

for this purpose with good agreement obtained when

contrasted against example spark range results. The

ability to accurately compute projectile aerodynam-

ics in highly unsteady conditions has led to the notion

of virtual wind tunnels and virtual y outs where

the simulation tools above are used to replicate a wind

tunnel or spark range test.

Computation time for accurate coupled CFD/RBD

simulationremains exceedinglyhighanddoes not cur-

rently represent a practical method for typical ight

dynamic analysis such as impact point statistics (CEP)

computationwhere thousands of y outs are required.

Furthermore, this type of analysis does not allow the

same level of understanding of the inherent underly-

ing dynamics of the system that RBD analysis using

aerodynamic coefcients yields. However, the cou-

pled CFD/RBDapproach does offer an indirect way to

rapidly compute the aerodynamic coefcients needed

for rigid six-degree-of-freedom simulation. During

a time accurate CFD/RBD simulation, aerodynamic

forces andmoments andthefull rigidbodystatevector

of the projectile are generated at each time step in the

simulation [34]. This means that aerodynamic forces,

aerodynamic moments, position of the mass center,

body orientation, translational velocity, and angular

velocity of the projectile are all known at the same

time instant. With time synchronized air load and

state vector information, the aerodynamic coefcients

can be estimated with a simple tting procedure.

This paper creates a method to efciently generate a

complete aerodynamic model for a projectile in atmo-

spheric ight using four short-time histories at each

Mach number of interest with an industry standard

time accurate CFD/RBD simulation. The technique

is exercised on example CFD/RBD data for a small

n-stabilized projectile.

2 PROJECTILE CFD/RBDSIMULATION

2.1 Rigid body dynamics

The projectile CFD/RBD algorithm employed here

combines a rigid six-degree-of-freedom projectile

ight dynamic model with a three-dimensional,

time accurate CFD simulation. The RBD dynamic

Proc. IMechE Vol. 222 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering JAERO304 IMechE 2008

Aerodynamic models for projectile ight simulation 1069

Fig. 1 Reference frame and position denitions

Fig. 2 Projectile orientation denitions

equations are integrated forward in time where aero-

dynamic forces and moments that drive motion of

the projectile are computed using the CFD algorithm.

The RBD projectile model allows for three translation

degrees of freedom and three rotation degrees of free-

dom. As shown in Figs 1 and 2, the I frame is attached

tothegroundwhiletheBframeis xedtotheprojectile

with the

I

B

axis pointing out the nose of the projectile

and the

J

B

and

K

B

unit vectors forming a right handed

triad. The projectile state vector is comprised of the

inertial position components of the projectile mass

center (x, y, z), the standard aerospace sequence Euler

angles (, , ), the body frame components of the

projectile mass center velocity (u, v, w), and the body

frame components of the projectile angular velocity

vector (p, q, r).

Both the translational and rotational dynamic

equations are expressed in the projectile body refer-

ence frame. The standard rigid projectile, body frame

equations of motionaregivenbyequations (1) through

(4) [35]

_

_

_

x

y

z

_

_

_

=

_

_

c

+s

+c

_

_

_

_

_

u

v

w

_

_

_

(1)

_

_

_

_

_

_

=

_

_

1 s

0 c

0 s

/c

/c

_

_

_

_

_

p

q

r

_

_

_

(2)

_

_

_

u

v

w

_

_

_

=

_

_

_

X/m

Y /m

Z/m

_

_

_

_

_

0 r q

r 0 p

q p 0

_

_

_

_

_

u

v

w

_

_

_

(3)

_

_

_

p

q

r

_

_

_

= [I ]

1

_

_

_

_

_

L

M

N

_

_

_

_

_

0 r q

r 0 p

q p 0

_

_

[I ]

_

_

_

p

q

r

_

_

_

_

_

(4)

In equations (1) and (2), the shorthand notation

s

= sin(), c

= cos(), and t

the total applied force components (X, Y , Z) and

moment components (L, M, N) contain contributions

fromweight andaerodynamics. The aerodynamic por-

tion of the applied loads in equations (3) and (4) is

computedusing the CFDsimulationandpassedto the

RBD simulation.

2.2 CFDsolution technique

On the other hand, the CFD ow equations are

integrated forward in time where the motion of

the projectile that drives ow dynamics are com-

puted using the RBD algorithm. The complete set

of three-dimensional time-dependent NavierStokes

equations is solvedina time-accurate manner for sim-

ulation of free ight. The commercially available code,

CFD++ is used for the time-accurate unsteady CFD

simulations [36, 37]. The basic numerical framework

inthe code contains unied-grid, unied-physics, and

unied-computing features. The three-dimensional

time-dependent RANS equations are solved using the

following nite volume equation

V

W dV +

(F G) dA =

V

H dV (5)

JAERO304 IMechE 2008 Proc. IMechE Vol. 222 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering

1070 MCostello and J Sahu

where W is the vector of conservative variables, F and

Garetheinviscidandviscous uxvectors, respectively,

H is the vector of source terms, V is the cell volume,

and A is the surface area of the cell face. A second-

order discretization is used for the ow variables

and the turbulent viscosity equation. The turbulence

closure is based on topology-parameter-free formu-

lations and turbulence modelling thus, becomes a

critical element in the calculation of turbulent ows

that are of interest here. Two-equation higher-order

RANS turbulence models are used for the compu-

tation of turbulent ows. These models are ideally

suited to unstructured book-keeping and massively

parallel processing due to their independence from

constraints related to the placement of boundaries

and/or zonal interfaces. Higher order turbulencemod-

els are generally more accurate and are widely used.

A widely used turbulence model for practical appli-

cations is the two-equation k model [38] shown

below

d(k)

dt

=

__

+

t

k

_

k

_

+P

k

(6)

d()

dt

=

__

+

t

_

+ (C

1

P

k

C

2

+E) T

1

t

(7)

where k is the turbulence kinetic energy, is the

turbulence dissipation rate, and

t

is the turbulence

eddy viscosity which is a function of k and ; P

k

is a production term, E is a source term, and T

t

is a realizable time scale. Even more sophisticated

turbulence modelling such as the large eddy simula-

tion (LES) exists but are prohibitively expensive for

practical problems. Recently, hybrid models known

as hybrid RANS/LES [39] have been developed that

combine the best features of both RANS and LES

methods based on local gird resolution. The RANS

part is still based on the k model and is used for

the most of the ow domain including the turbulent

boundary layer region and LES is used in the wake,

for example. The hybrid RANS/LES model is gener-

ally more suitable for computation of unsteady ow

elds especially at transonic and subsonic speeds.

For the computation of supersonic ows that are of

interest in this research, the two-equation k model

described above is adequate. It has been success-

fully used with good results on a number of pro-

jectile aerodynamic applications [19, 24, 34]. These

turbulence equations are solved all the way to the

wall and generally require ne meshes near the wall

surface.

A dual time-stepping approach is used to integrate

the ow equations to achieve the desired time-

accuracy. The rst is anouter or global (and physical)

time step that corresponds to the time discretization

of the physical time variation term. This time step can

be chosen directly by the user and is typically set to

a value to represent one-hundredth of the period of

oscillation expected or forced in the transient ow. It

is also applied to every cell and is not spatially varying.

An articial or inner or local time variation term is

added to the basic physical equations. This time step

and corresponding inner-iteration strategy is chosen

to help satisfy the physical transient equations to the

desired degree. For the inner iterations, the time step

is allowed to vary spatially. Also, relaxation with multi-

grid (algebraic) acceleration is employed to reduce the

residues of the physical transient equations. It is found

that anorder of magnitude reductioninthe residues is

usuallysufcient toproduceagoodtransient iteration.

2.3 CFD/RBDcoupling and initial conditions

The projectile in the coupled CFD/RBD simulation

along with its grid moves and rotates as the pro-

jectile ies downrange. Grid velocity is assigned to

each mesh point. This general capability can be tai-

lored for many specic situations. For example, the

grid point velocities can be specied to correspond

to a spinning projectile. In this case, the grid speeds

are assigned as if the grid is attached to the pro-

jectile and spinning with it. Similarly, to account for

RBDs, the grid point velocities can be set as if the

grid is attached to the rigid body with six degrees

of freedom. As shown in Fig. 2, the six degrees of

freedom comprises of the inertial position compo-

nents of the projectile mass center (x, y, z) and the

three standard Euler angles (, , ), roll angle, pitch

angle, and yaw angle, respectively. For the RBDs, the

coupling refers to the interaction between the aero-

dynamic forces/moments and the dynamic response

of the projectile/body to these forces and moments.

The forces and moments are computed every CFD

time step and transferred to a six-degree-of-freedom

module which computes the bodys response to the

forces and moments. The response is converted into

translational androtational accelerations that areinte-

grated to obtain translational and rotational velocities

and integrated once more to obtain linear position

and angular orientation. From the dynamic response,

the grid point locations and grid point velocities are

set.

In order to properly initialize the CFD simula-

tion, two modes of operation for the CFD code

are utilized, namely, an uncoupled and a coupled

mode. The uncoupled mode is used to initialize

the CFD ow solution while the coupled mode rep-

resents the nal time accurate coupled CFD/RBD

solution. In the uncoupled mode, the RBDs are spec-

ied. The uncoupled mode begins with a computa-

tion performed in steady state mode with the grid

Proc. IMechE Vol. 222 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering JAERO304 IMechE 2008

Aerodynamic models for projectile ight simulation 1071

velocities prescribed to account for the proper ini-

tial position (x

0

, y

0

, z

0

), orientation (

0

,

0

,

0

), and

translational velocity (u

0

, v

0

, w

0

) components of the

complete set of initial conditions to be prescribed.

After the steady state solution is converged, the ini-

tial spin rate (p

0

) is included and a new quasi-steady

state solution is obtained using time-accurate CFD.

A sufcient number of time steps are performed so

that the angular orientation for the spin axis cor-

responds to the prescribed initial conditions. This

quasi-steady stateowsolutionis thestartingpoint for

the time-accurate coupled solution. For the coupled

solution, the mesh is translated back to the desired

initial position (x

0

, y

0

, z

0

) and the remaining angu-

lar velocity initial conditions (q

0

, r

0

) are then added.

In the coupled mode, the aerodynamic forces and

moments are passed to the RBD simulation which

propagates the rigid state of the projectile forward in

time.

3 FLIGHT DYNAMIC PROJECTILE AERODYNAMIC

MODEL

The applied loads in equations (3) and (4) con-

tain contributions from projectile weight and body

aerodynamic forces and moments as shown below

_

_

_

X

Y

Z

_

_

_

= W

_

_

_

s

_

_

_

8

V

2

D

2

_

C

X0

+C

X2

(v

2

+w

2

)/V

2

C

NA

v/V

pD

2V

C

YPA

w/V

C

NA

w/V +

pD

2V

C

YPA

v/V

_

_

(8)

_

_

_

L

M

N

_

_

_

=

8

V

2

D

3

_

C

LDD

+

pD

2V

C

LP

C

MA

w

V

+

qD

2V

C

MQ

+

pD

2V

C

NPA

v

V

C

MA

v

V

+

rD

2V

C

MQ

+

pD

2V

C

NPA

w

V

_

_

(9)

The terms containing C

YPA

constitute the Magnus air

load acting at the Magnus center of pressure while the

terms containing C

X0

, C

X2

, C

NA

dene the steady load

acting at the center of pressure. The externally applied

moment about the projectile mass center is composed

of anunsteadyaerodynamicmoment alongwithterms

due to the fact that the center of pressure and center of

Magnus are not located at the mass center. The terms

involvingC

MA

accounts for thecenter of pressurebeing

located off the mass center while the terms involving

C

NPA

accounts for the center of Magnus being located

off the mass center. The aerodynamic coefcients are

all a functionof local Machnumber whichare typically

handled through a table look-up scheme in projec-

tile ight simulation codes. The aerodynamic model

presented in equations (8) and (9) is the standard

aerodynamic expansion for symmetric projectiles.

4 AERODYNAMIC COEFFICIENT ESTIMATION

The time accurate coupled CFD/RBD simulation

provides a full ow solution including the aerody-

namic portion of the total applied force and moment

(X, Y , Z, L, M, N) along with the full state of the rigid

projectile (x, y, z, , , , u, v, w, p, q, r) at every time

step in the solution for each time snippet. Given a set

of nshort time histories (snippets) that eachcontainm

time points yields a total of h = m ntime history data

points for use in estimating the aerodynamic coef-

cients: C

X0

, C

X2

, C

NA

, C

YPA

, C

LDD

, C

LP

, C

MA

, C

MQ

, C

NPA

.

Note that for n-stabilized projectile congurations,

the Magnus force and moment are usually suf-

ciently small so that C

YPA

and C

NPA

are set to zero and

removed from the tting procedure to be described

below.

Equations (8) and (9) represent the applied air loads

on the projectile expressed in the projectile body

frame. Computation of the aerodynamic coefcients

is aidedby transforming these equations tothe instan-

taneous aerodynamic angle of attack reference frame

that rotates the projectile body frame about the

I

B

axis

by the angle = tan

1

(w/v).

8

V

2

D

2

_

_

1 0 0

0 c

0 s

_

_

_

_

_

_

X

Y

Z

_

_

W

_

_

s

_

_

_

_

=

_

_

C

X0

+C

X2

(v

2

+w

2

)/V

2

C

NA

v

2

+w

2

V

pD

2V

v

2

+w

2

V

C

YPA

_

_

(10)

8

V

2

D

3

_

_

1 0 0

0 c

0 s

_

_

_

_

L

M

N

_

_

=

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

C

LDD

+

pD

2V

C

LP

(vq +wr)D

2

v

2

+w

2

V

C

MQ

+

pD

2V

v

2

+w

2

V

C

NPA

(vr wq)D

2

v

2

+w

2

V

C

MQ

v

2

+w

2

V

C

MA

_

_

(11)

Each time history data point provides a total of six

equations given by the components of equations (10)

and (11). The rst component of equation (10) is

JAERO304 IMechE 2008 Proc. IMechE Vol. 222 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering

1072 MCostello and J Sahu

gathered together for all time history data points to

form equation (12). Likewise, the second and third

components of equation (10) generate equations (13)

and (14), respectively, while the rst component of

equation (11) constructs equation (15). Finally, the

second and third components of equation (11) are

gatheredtogether to formequation(16). Subscripts on

the projectile state vector and aerodynamic force and

moment components represent the time history data

point.

_

_

_

_

1 (v

2

1

+w

2

1

)/V

2

1

.

.

.

.

.

.

1 (v

2

h

+w

2

h

)/V

2

h

_

_

_

C

X0

C

X2

_

=

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

8

V

2

1

D

2

(X

1

+W sin

1

)

.

.

.

8

V

2

h

D

2

(X

h

+W sin

h

)

_

_

(12)

_

_

_

_

_

_

v

2

1

+w

2

1

/V

1

.

.

.

_

v

2

h

+w

2

h

/V

h

_

_

(C

NA

)

=

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

8

V

2

1

D

2

(Y

1

cos

1

+Z

1

sin

1

W sin

1

cos

1

)

.

.

.

8

V

2

h

D

2

(Y

h

cos

h

+Z

h

sin

h

W sin

h

cos

h

)

_

_

(13)

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

p

1

D

_

v

2

1

+w

2

1

2V

2

1

.

.

.

p

h

D

_

v

2

h

+w

2

h

2V

2

h

_

_

(C

YPA

)

=

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

8

V

2

1

D

2

(Y

1

sin

1

+Z

1

cos

1

W cos

1

cos

1

)

.

.

.

8

V

2

h

D

2

(Y

h

sin

h

+Z

h

cos

h

W cos

h

cos

h

)

_

_

(14)

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

1

p

1

D

2V

1

.

.

.

.

.

.

1

p

h

D

2V

h

_

_

_

C

LDD

C

LP

_

=

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

8L

1

V

2

1

D

3

.

.

.

8L

h

V

2

h

D

3

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

(15)

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

0

(v

1

q

1

+w

1

r

1

)D

2V

1

_

v

2

1

+w

2

1

p

1

D

_

v

2

1

+w

2

1

2V

2

1

_

v

2

1

+w

2

1

V

1

(v

1

r

1

w

1

q

1

)D

2V

1

_

v

2

1

+w

2

1

0

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

0

(v

h

q

h

+w

h

r

h

)D

2V

h

_

v

2

h

+w

2

h

p

h

D

_

v

2

h

+w

2

h

2V

2

h

_

v

2

h

+w

2

h

V

h

(v

h

r

h

w

h

q

h

)D

2V

h

_

v

2

h

+w

2

h

0

_

_

_

C

MA

C

MQ

C

NPA

_

_

=

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

8

V

2

1

D

3

(M

1

cos

1

+N

1

sin

1

)

8

V

2

1

D

3

(M

1

sin

1

+N

1

cos

1

)

.

.

.

8

V

2

h

D

3

(M

h

cos

h

+N

h

sin

h

)

8

V

2

h

D

3

(M

h

sin

h

+N

h

cos

h

)

_

_

(16)

Equations (12) to (16) represent a set of ve uncou-

pled problems to solve for the different aerodynamic

coefcients. To estimate the aerodynamic coefcients

near a particular Mach number, a set of n time accu-

rate coupled CFD/RBD simulations are created over a

relatively short time period. Since an individual time

snippet is over a short time period where the projectile

state variables do not change appreciably, it is critical

that initial conditions for the different time snippet

be selected in an informed way so that the rank of

each of the tting matrices above is maximal. Proper-

ties of the tting matrices above, such as the rank or

condition number, can be used as an indicator of the

suitabilityof theCFD/RBDsimulationdatatoestimate

the aerodynamic coefcients at the target Mach num-

ber. Equation (12) is employed to estimate the zero

yawdrag coefcient (C

X0

) and the yawdrag coefcient

(C

X2

). To minimize the condition number of this t-

ting matrix, both low and high aerodynamic angle of

attacktimesnippets arerequired. Equation(13) is used

to compute the normal force coefcient (C

NA

) and it

requires timehistorydatawithanonzeroaerodynamic

angle of attack. Equation (14) is used to compute the

Magnus force coefcient (C

YPA

) and it requires time

history data with both low and high roll rate and aero-

dynamic angle of attack. Equation (15) is employed to

estimate the n cant roll coefcient (C

LDD

) along with

the roll damping coefcient (C

LP

). To minimize the

condition number of this tting matrix, both low and

Proc. IMechE Vol. 222 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering JAERO304 IMechE 2008

Aerodynamic models for projectile ight simulation 1073

Table 1 Time snippet initial conditions

State Case 1 Case 2 Case 3 Case 4

x (m) 0 0 0 0

y (m) 0 0 0 0

z (m) 0 0 0 0

(degrees) 0 0 0 0

(degrees) 0 0 0 0

(degrees) 0 0 0 0

V (m/s) 1032 1032 1032 1032

v (m/s) 0 0 0 0

w (m/s 0 352.5 90 0

P (rad/s) 0 0 377 0

q (rad/s) 0 0 0 10

r (rad/s) 0 0 0 0

(degrees) 0 20 5 0

high roll rate time snippets are required. Equation (16)

is employed to estimate the pitching moment coef-

cient (C

MA

), the pitch damping coefcient (C

MQ

), and

the Magnus moment coefcient (C

NPA

). For successful

estimation of these coefcients, time history data with

both low and high roll rate and aerodynamic angle

of attack as well as low and high aerodynamic angle

of attack are required. To meet the requirements for

successful estimation of all ve sets of aerodynamic

coefcients, four time snippets are used all withdiffer-

ent initial conditions. Table 1 lists the four cases with

launch conditions. Notice that the set of time snippets

contain a diverse set of initial conditions: zero aero-

dynamic angle of attack and angular rates; high angle

of attack and zero angular rates; low angle of attack,

high roll rate with other angular rates zero; zero angle

of attack, high pitch rate with other angular rates zero.

For ight dynamic simulation, aerodynamic coef-

cients are required at a set of Mach numbers that

covers the intended spectrum of ight conditions

for the round. If aerodynamic coefcients are esti-

mated at k different Mach numbers then a total of

l = k n CFD/RBD time snippets must be generated

toconstruct the entire aerodynamic database for ight

simulation purposes.

5 RESULTS

In order to exercise the method developed above, a

generic nned projectile is considered. A sketch of

the projectile is shown in Fig. 3. The projectile has

the following geometric andmass properties: length =

0.1259 m, reference diameter = 0.013194 m, mass =

0.0484 kg, mass center location frombase = 0.0686 m,

roll inertia =0.74e 06 kg m

2

, pitchinertia =0.484e

04 kg m

2

.

As part of a validation of the coupled Navier-Stokes

and six-degree-of-freedom method, time-accurate

unsteady numerical computations were performed to

predict the ow eld, aerodynamic coefcients, and

Fig. 3 Generic nned projectile

Fig. 4 Unstructured mesh near the nned body

the ight paths of this n-stabilizedprojectile at anini-

tial supersonic speed, M = 3. Full three-dimensional

computations were performed and no symmetry was

used.

An unstructured computational mesh was gener-

ated for the generic nned projectile (Fig. 4). In

general, most of the grid points are clustered in the

boundary-layer as well as near the afterbody n and

the wake regions. Three different grids were used

and the total number of grid points varied from 2

to 6 million points for the full grid. For the larger

meshes, additional grid points were clustered in the

boundary-layer as well as near the afterbody n and

the wake regions. The rst spacing away from the

wall was selected to yield a y+ value of 1.0 in each

case. The projectile conguration has a base cavity

and was included in the mesh generation process.

The unstructured mesh also included the base cav-

ity region that was present in the actual model tested

and was generated using the multi-purpose intelli-

gent meshing environment grid-generation software

recently developed by Metacomp Technologies.

Here, the primary interest is in the validation of

coupled CFD/RBD techniques for accurate simula-

tion of free ight aerodynamics and ight dynamics

of a projectile in supersonic ight. Numerical com-

putations were made for the generic nned projectile

congurationat aninitial velocity of 1032 m/s. The ini-

tial angle of attack was, = 4.9

was 2500 rad/s. Figure 5 shows the computed pres-

sure contours at a given time or at a given location

in the trajectory. It clearly shows the orientation of the

body at that instant in time and the resulting asym-

metric ow eld due to the body at angle of attack.

JAERO304 IMechE 2008 Proc. IMechE Vol. 222 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering

1074 MCostello and J Sahu

Fig. 5 Computed pressure contours

The orientation of the projectile of course changes

from one instant in time to another as the projectile

ies down range. Figure 6 shows the variation of the

Euler pitchangle withdistance traveled. As seeninthis

gure, both the amplitude and frequency in the Euler

angle variation are predicted very well by the com-

puted results and match extremely well with the data

from the ight tests. One can also clearly see that

the amplitude damps out as the projectile ies down

range, i.e. with the increasing x-distance. Although

not shown here, similar behavior is observed with the

Euler yaw angle and it damps out with the increasing

x-distance. Computed results againcompare very well

with measured data from ight tests. As stated earlier,

different computational meshes were used to obtain

the numerical results. Grid sizes varied from 2 to 6

million total number of points. The effect of the grid

sizes on the computed Euler pitch angle is also shown

in Fig. 6. The computed results are grid-independent;

the computed pitch angles obtained with 4 and 6

million mesh are essentially the same as those results

obtained with the 2 million point mesh. In all sub-

sequent simulations, the 4 million grid point mesh

has been used. Additional validation results showing

other state variables and more details can be found in

reference [34].

Figures 7 to 12 present projectile state trajectories

for each of the four time snippets. Each time snippet

is 0.023 s and contains 50 points, leading to an average

output time step of 0.0004. The initial conditions for

each of the time snippets is shown in Table 1. These

four snippets create time history data at low and high

angle of attack, roll rate, and pitch rate needed for

accurate aerodynamic coefcient estimation. Notice

that cases 2 and 3 have notably more drag down due

to the high angle of attack launch conditions. Case 3 is

launched with relatively high roll rate compared to all

Fig. 7 Velocity for the time snippets.

Fig. 6 Effect of mesh size on the Euler pitch angle

Proc. IMechE Vol. 222 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering JAERO304 IMechE 2008

Aerodynamic models for projectile ight simulation 1075

Fig. 8 Aerodynamic angle of attack for the time

snippets

Fig. 9 Roll rate for the time snippets

Fig. 10 Pitch rate for the time snippets

Fig. 11 Euler pitch angle for the time snippets

Fig. 12 Euler yaw angle for the time snippets

other cases. Case 2 generates roll rate toward the end

of the time snippet due to high angle of attack roll-

pitch coupling. Signicant oscillations in Euler pitch

angle are created in case 2 with some cross coupling

response exhibited in Euler yaw angle. Figures 13 to

16 plot aerodynamic forces and moments in the local

angle of attack reference frame denedabove for cases

1, 3, and 4 since these cases are the primary cases used

toestimatethecoefcients. For all cases, theaxial force

oscillates from 20 to 25 N. There exists a slight bias

between the CFD/RBD and estimated data of about

0.5 N for low angle of attack time snippets. For mod-

erately high angles of attack (Case 3), the estimated

data alsooscillates witha muchhigher amplitude than

the CFD/RBD data indicating that C

X2

is estimated

larger than the CFD/RBD suggests. The normal force

time snippets agree well between the CFD/RBD and

estimated data for all time snippets. For the exam-

ple nned projectile, side force (F

Z

) and out-of-plane

moment (M

Y

) are generally small (<0.5 N, 0.05 Nm)

due to a negligibly small Magnus force and moment.

JAERO304 IMechE 2008 Proc. IMechE Vol. 222 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering

1076 MCostello and J Sahu

Fig. 13 Estimated (dashed) and CFD/RBD (solid) body

axis axial force (F

x

) versus time

Fig. 14 Estimated (dashed) and CFD/RBD (solid) nor-

mal force (F

y

) versus time

The CFD/RBD and estimated data agree reasonably

well, but certainly do not overlay one another. The

only time snippet that creates notable rolling moment

is case 3 which is launched with an initial roll rate

of 377 rad/s. Notice that the estimated data smoothly

goes through the CFD/RBD data which oscillates in

a slightly erratic manner. The in-plane moment (M

z

)

agrees reasonably well for boththe CFD/RBDandesti-

mateddata. Theresults showninFigs 4to15aretypical

for all Mach numbers. The overall observation from

the data is that the estimated aerodynamic model ts

the CFD/RBD data well, with the notable exception of

axial force where a bias is exhibited.

The example projectile investigated in this paper

has been red in a spark range at Mach 3.0 with

aerodynamic coefcients computed via conventional

aerodynamic range reduction. Table 2 presents a

comparison of aerodynamic coefcients obtained

from spark range testing and subsequent coefcients

Fig. 15 Estimated (dashed) and CFD/RBD (solid) body

axis rolling moment (M

x

) versus time

Fig. 16 Estimated (dashed) and CFD/RBD (solid) yaw-

ing moment versus time

obtained using the method described here. Notice

that most aerodynamic coefcients such as C

X0

, C

NA

,

and C

MA

are in reasonably good agreement with spark

range reduced data. Axial force yaw drag and roll

dampingarebothdifferent byaround20per cent while

pitch damping is different by around 40 per cent. With

the exception of C

MQ

, aerodynamic coefcients are

nearly estimated to within the accuracy that can be

expected from a spark range test ring between two

sets of rings. The relatively larger errors in C

MQ

are

more thanlikely due tothe set of initial conditions that

create a large condition number for the tting matrix.

CFD/RBD data was generated at six different Mach

numbers ranging from 1.5 to 4.0. The estimation

algorithm discussed above was used to compute a

complete set of aerodynamic coefcients across its

Mach range. These results are provided in Table 3.

With the exception of C

X2

, the steady aerodynamic

coefcients are smooth and follow typical trends for

Proc. IMechE Vol. 222 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering JAERO304 IMechE 2008

Aerodynamic models for projectile ight simulation 1077

Table 2 Comparison of estimated aerodynamic coefcients and estimated coefcients at Mach 3.0

Spark range data CFD/RBD Percent difference

spark range reduction PACE estimation between coefcients (%)

Zero yaw axial force coefcient, C

X0

0.221 0.238 7.17.7

Yaw axial force coefcient, C

X2

5.0 5.9 15.018.0

Normal force coefcient derivative, C

NA

5.83 5.64 3.23.3

Pitching moment coefcient derivative, C

MA

12.6 13.82 8.89.7

Pitch damping moment coefcient, C

MQ

196 134 31.646.3

Roll damping moment coefcient, C

LP

2.71 3.37 19.624.4

Table 3 Aerodynamic coefcients versus Mach number

Mach no. 1.5000 2.0000 2.5000 3.0000 3.5000 4.0000

C

X0

0.4309 0.3413 0.2821 0.2387 0.2051 0.1829

C

X2

0.2109 5.5363 5.7136 5.9329 5.5131 2.0191

C

NA

8.0982 7.0441 6.1940 5.6441 5.2608 5.0026

C

LP

4.4758 4.4114 3.8793 3.3788 2.9415 3.2974

C

MA

23.7600 18.6200 15.7178 13.8278 12.4043 11.3124

C

MQ

282.8 277.7 182.3 134.4 112.0 77.8

variation in Mach number. The yaw drag coefcient,

C

X2

, however, is somewhat erratic with a low value

of 0.21 at Mach 1.5 followed by a steady rise until

Mach 3.5. Pitch damping decreases with Mach num-

ber as would be expected for a n-stabilized projectile

beyond Mach 1.0. Roll damping steadily increases

until Mach 4.0 when in drops off notably.

6 CONCLUSIONS

Using a time-accurate CFD simulation that is tightly

coupled to a RBDs simulation, a method to efciently

generate a complete aerodynamic descriptionfor pro-

jectile ight dynamic modelling is described. Aset of n

short-time snippets of simulated projectile motion at

mdifferent Machnumbers is computedandemployed

as baseline data. The combined CFD/RBD analysis

computes time synchronized air loads and projectile

state vector information, leading to a straightforward

tting procedure to obtain the aerodynamic coef-

cients. The estimation procedure decouples into ve

sub problems that are each solved via linear least

squares. The method has been applied to an example

supersonic nned projectile. A comparison of spark

range obtainedaerodynamic coefcients withthe esti-

mation method presented here at Mach 3 exhibits

agreement within 10 per cent for C

X0

, C

NA

, and C

MA

;

agreement within 20 per cent for C

X2

and C

LP

; and

agreement within 40 per cent for C

MQ

. This technique

reported here provides a promising new means for

the CFD analyst to predict aerodynamic coefcients

for ight dynamic simulation purposes. It can easily

be extended to ight dynamic modelling of differ-

ent control effectors providedaccurate CFD/RBDtime

simulation is possible and an aerodynamic coefcient

expansion is dened which includes the effect of the

control mechanism.

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APPENDIX

Notation

C

LDD

n cant aerodynamic coefcient

C

LP

roll damping aerodynamic coefcient

C

MQ

pitch damping moment aerodynamic

coefcient

C

NA

normal force due to angle of attack

aerodynamic coefcient

C

X0

zero yaw drag aerodynamic

coefcient

C

X2

yaw drag aerodynamic coefcient

C

YPA

Magnus force aerodynamic

coefcient

Proc. IMechE Vol. 222 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering JAERO304 IMechE 2008

Aerodynamic models for projectile ight simulation 1079

D projectile diameter

F

x

, F

y

, F

z

total applied force components in

body reference frame

M

x

, M

y

, M

z

total applied moment components

about mass center in body reference

frame

p, q, r components of angular velocity

vector in body reference frame

u, v, w components of velocity vector of

mass center in body reference frame

V magnitude of relative aerodynamic

velocity vector of mass center

W projectile weight (=mg)

x, y, z components of position vector of

mass center in an inertial reference

frame

aerodynamic angle of attack

air density

, , Euler roll, pitch, and yaw angles

JAERO304 IMechE 2008 Proc. IMechE Vol. 222 Part G: J. Aerospace Engineering

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