Fluid-Structure Interaction Modeling of the Reefed Stages of the Orion Spacecraft Main Parachutes
Boswell, Cody W
Tezduyar, Tayfun E.
Master of Science
Spacecraft parachutes are typically used in multiple stages, starting with a "reefed" stage where a cable along the parachute skirt constrains the diameter to be less than the diameter in the subsequent stage. After a certain period of time during the descent, the cable is cut and the parachute "disreefs" (i.e. expands) to the next stage. Computing the parachute shape at the reefed stage and fluid–-structure interaction (FSI) modeling during the disreefing involve computational challenges beyond those we have in FSI modeling of fully-open spacecraft parachutes. These additional challenges are created by the increased geometric complexities and by the rapid changes in the parachute geometry. The computational challenges are further increased because of the added geometric porosity of the latest design, where the "windows" created by the removal of panels and the wider gaps created by the removal of sails compound the geometric and flow complexity. Orion spacecraft main parachutes will have three stages, with computation of the Stage 1 shape and FSI modeling of disreefing from Stage 1 to Stage 2 being the most challenging. We present the special modeling techniques we devised to address the computational challenges and the results from the computations carried out. We also present the methods we devised to calculate for a parachute gore the radius of curvature in the circumferential direction. The curvature values are intended for quick and simple engineering analysis in estimating the structural stresses.
Fluid-structure interaction; Parachutes; Parachute clusters; Disreefing; Space-time techniques