Base-Flow Aerodynamics


Re-entry vehicles exhibit large geometrical base areas with complex flow structures characterized by large eddies confined by expansion waves and jet flows. Understanding and estimation of these effects is required for an accurate assessment of the aerodynamic drag, lateral and longitudinal stability.

Left: Photograph of the PHOENIX vehicle after a successful automatic landing flight-test.
Right: Aerodynamic characterization of the PHOENIX demonstrator; Computed surface pressure distribution for a low speed landing configuration.

Numerical computation of the flow behind a truncated cylinder embedded in a supersonic flow;
Experimental pressure distribution compared with time average pressure distributions along a cylinder base using detached-eddy simulations and a classical Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes solution;
Embedded figs.: sketch of the configuration indicating the measured plane (top left). Turbulent structures behind the cylinder (top right).


Dr.-Ing. Heinrich Lüdeke
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)

Institut für Aerodynamik und Strömungstechnik
, Raumfahrzeuge
Tel: +49 531 295-3315

Fax: +49 531 295-2320

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Abteilung Raumfahrzeuge (AS-RFZ) (