Drag and Heat Transfer Effects on Hypersonic Vehicles in Close-Proximity Flight


A computational investigation of the drag and heat transfer experienced by multiple trailing (following) vehicles in hypersonic flight is presented. Linear arrays of vehicles in flight at Mach 10 are modeled. Results are presented for both parametric two dimensional cases and for a three dimensional case. Drag and heat transfer on trailing vehicles in 2-D (five vehicle) arrays, for both powered and unpowered configurations, are shown to reduce progressively from leading vehicle to trailing vehicle such that trailing vehicles can experience less than 30% of the drag and heat transfer experienced by the lead vehicle. The 3-D study examines pressure drag effects for generic lifting body/wave-rider configurations in a three vehicle array. Pressure drag on the trailing vehicle in such an array falls to approximately 20% of that experienced by the lead vehicle for an unpowered case and to less than 20% for the powered case. The drag and heat transfer reductions are due to the developing slipstream resulting from the successive vehicles, with attendant and progressively increasing reductions in local approach velocities, local approach Mach numbers, and local approach pressures experienced by trailing vehicles.

Meeting Name

AIAA Scitech 2020 Forum (2020: Jan. 6-10, Orlando, FL)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

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Article - Conference proceedings

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Publication Date

10 Jan 2020