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Proposal Abstract - Reducing Turbulence- and Transition-Driven Uncertainty in AerothermalHeating Predictions for Blunt-Bodied Reentry Vehicles

Proposal Abstract - Reducing Turbulence- and Transition-Driven Uncertainty in AerothermalHeating Predictions for Blunt-Bodied Reentry Vehicles

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Published by RhysU

Abstract for accepted dissertation topic

Abstract for accepted dissertation topic

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: RhysU on Feb 06, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Reducing Turbulence- and Transition-Driven Uncertainty in AerothermalHeating Predictions for Blunt-Bodied Reentry Vehicles
Rhys UlerichCommittee: Robert Moser (advisor),George Biros, Noel Clemens, Leszek Demkowicz, Venkat Raman, Robert van de Geijn
A vehicle reentering Earth’s atmosphere requires a thermal protection system(TPS) to mitigate aerothermal heating. Gauging reentry heat load is critical to missionsuccess. Undersizing a TPS at best destroys expensive equipment and at worst causes loss of life. Oversizing a TPS increases vehicle weight and fuel costs and therefore reduces availablepayload. Decision makers need these heating predictions with quantified uncertainty so theymay balance reliability requirements against cost constraints.Turbulence and laminar-turbulent transition enter critically into this balance. Turbulencein the fluid boundary layer around a vehicle intensifies heating because turbulent mixingmagnifies momentum, energy, and chemical species transport to the TPS. Recent coupledmultiphysics studies by Bauman et al. [1] and Stogner et al. [9] have shown that ablative TPS predictions are highly sensitive to uncertainty in turbulence model calibration parame-ters. Further, while laminar freestream conditions allow at least the stagnation point regionwithin the flow to be laminar, prediction efforts often assume these boundary layers arefully turbulent. Both incorrectly applying turbulence models to laminar regions and ne-glecting the downstream laminar-turbulent transition processes add markedly to heat loaduncertainty. Transition models may be employed to relax this assumption by accounting fortransitional flow. However, the extreme sensitivity of transition phenomena to the upstreamenvironment (see, e.g., Fedorov [3]) brings with those models another uncertainty penalty.The proposed work aims to reduce turbulence- and transition-driven uncertainty in aero-thermal heating predictions for blunt-bodied reentry vehicles in two ways. The first way willreduce the uncertainty entering through the turbulence model calibration parameters. Thesecond way will reduce the uncertainty arising from incorrectly treating laminar regions asfully turbulent.First, we propose using direct numerical simulation (DNS) of the compressible Navier–Stokes equations to generate high-quality supersonic boundary layer data for turbulencemodel calibration. DNS is selected because the technique produces data uncertainties limitedonly by the available computing resources. We have designed and implemented a new, fully-verified Fourier/B-spline pseudo-spectral DNS code using “slow growth” temporal boundarylayer homogenization approaches by Topalian et al. [10] to efficiently generate well-convergedturbulence statistics with accurately quantified uncertainties. Temporal homogenization ischosen because, unlike the spatial homogenization pioneered by Spalart [8] and extendedby Guarini[4], this approach introduces no additional spatial terms when the homogenized equations are averaged. Therefore the produced statistics can be directly used within theBayesian calibration of Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) models as described byCheung et al.[2] and Oliver and Moser [5]. The code will be used to create a rich database of  compressible turbulence statistics for use by the RANS modeling and uncertainty quantifi-cation communities. In addition to the long-lived public datasets we generate, our modern
DNS code will serve others as a robust, extensible platform for computational turbulenceresearch.Second, we propose characterizing which regions of an ablative TPS on a blunt-bodiedvehicle can sustain turbulence. Given the strength of the favorable pressure gradients foundin these flows, it is reasonable to expect that a contiguous region extending some distance ra-dially from the stagnation point simply cannot maintain turbulence. Rather than taking theclassical transition modeling approach and seeking where laminar-turbulent transition oc-curs, this study instead will map where turbulence cannot survive. The supersonic temporalboundary layer DNS code will be reused to perform a parametric study exploring pointwiseflow conditions found within simulations like those in Bauman et al. [1]. Fully turbulentfields will be initialized and evolved at local conditions taken from such simulations. We willsay the conditions cannot sustain turbulence if the field relaminarizes. This test is conserva-tive because, unlike the true reentry scenario, disturbances cannot exit a periodic simulationdomain. To keep the calculations tractable, aerothermochemistry will be neglected and theablative TPS will be emulated by wall transpiration. We intend to search the rich parameterspace of relevant flow conditions (consisting of Reynolds number, Mach number, boundarylayer thickness, pressure gradient strength, and wall transpiration rate) by traversing thetwo-dimensional surface of the blunt-bodied reentry vehicle. Starting from just upstream of the heat shield’s rounded edge, the relaminarization test will be repeated at local conditionstaken closer and closer to the stagnation point until the edge of the turbulence-sustainingregion is detected. The exploration will inform us where turbulence models should not beemployed when simulating these reentry flows.Conceptually, this numerical relaminarization experiment is akin to the classical varia-tional energy method, popularized by Serrin [7], for determining the stability of a laminarflow to arbitrary disturbances. Characterizing the nonlinear stability of a compressible, vis-cous, ideal gas with an upper free boundary remains an open analysis problem accordingto Padula [6]. To both add insight to and aid execution of our study, we propose usingthe energy method framework to analyze the equations governing the evolution of nonlinearperturbation energy within the homogenized boundary layer. Numerically-obtained, term-by-term budgets will guide the analysis and may illuminate valid simplifying assumptions.The goal is to produce a relaminarization diagnostic capturing perturbation energy decaycriteria for blunt-bodied reentry flows. Ultimately, the diagnostic may lead to a conser-vative transition model useful to engineering practitioners working on behalf of cost- anduncertainty-constrained decision makers.
A list of contributions follows. Each contribution is annotated with therelated Computational Science, Engineering, and Mathematics program areas: (
) Applica-ble Mathematics, (
) Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computation, and (
) Mathemat-ical Modeling and Applications.
Creation of manufactured solutions for the relevant Navier-Stokes formulation
Creation of a new Fourier/B-spline pseudo-spectral channel code (“Suzerain”)
Creation of a new parallel IO library for storing DNS simulation fields (“ESIO”)
Creation of a library for auto-tuned parallel pencil decompositions (“underling”)
Design of an uncertainty estimation procedure for autocorrelated turbulent statistics

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