One focus of DLR's Space Transportation Program is the investigation of future reusable space transportation systems. Current developments often focus on the high requirements for safety and efficiency as well as the reduction of development costs. Due to the increasing available computer capacities on current High-Performance Computing systems (HPC, at DLR the CARA Cluster), it is increasingly possible to numerically investigate complex overall systems in early development phases. Since application-oriented space systems have to meet diverse, sometimes contradictory, high demands, it is necessary to be able to represent the mutual influences of a multitude of physical processes in a simulation.
Under the title CONF²AS², an integrated simulation environment based on the FlowSimulator is being extended based on existing work and in-house developments for aeronautic applications. In this environment different single field solvers are controlled and the data exchange is efficiently organized. For example, the DLR TAU-RF code and its successor CODA is used to simulate chemically reacting flows of real gases, commercial applications are used to account for deformation and heat conduction including radiation of solids, and the movement of launchers and spacecraft in atmospheric flight is simulated using REENT.
The aim is to numerically design and investigate components such as the engine and its subsystems (combustion chamber, cooling channels, nozzles) as well as the entire spacecraft. In addition, the numerical investigations are used to design experiments, which in turn are used to validate the numerical methods. The institute is responsible for the method development as well as for the execution of the simulations.