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Ulerich Committee: Robert Moser (advisor), George Biros, Noel Clemens, Leszek Demkowicz, Venkat Raman, Robert van de Geijn
Abstract. A vehicle reentering Earth’s atmosphere requires a thermal protection system (TPS) to mitigate aerothermal heating. Gauging reentry heat load is critical to mission success. 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 available payload. Decision makers need these heating predictions with quantiﬁed uncertainty so they may balance reliability requirements against cost constraints. Turbulence and laminar-turbulent transition enter critically into this balance. Turbulence in the ﬂuid boundary layer around a vehicle intensiﬁes heating because turbulent mixing magniﬁes momentum, energy, and chemical species transport to the TPS. Recent coupled multiphysics studies by Bauman et al.  and Stogner et al.  have shown that ablative TPS predictions are highly sensitive to uncertainty in turbulence model calibration parameters. Further, while laminar freestream conditions allow at least the stagnation point region within the ﬂow to be laminar, prediction eﬀorts often assume these boundary layers are fully turbulent. Both incorrectly applying turbulence models to laminar regions and neglecting the downstream laminar-turbulent transition processes add markedly to heat load uncertainty. Transition models may be employed to relax this assumption by accounting for transitional ﬂow. However, the extreme sensitivity of transition phenomena to the upstream environment (see, e.g., Fedorov ) brings with those models another uncertainty penalty. The proposed work aims to reduce turbulence- and transition-driven uncertainty in aerothermal heating predictions for blunt-bodied reentry vehicles in two ways. The ﬁrst way will reduce the uncertainty entering through the turbulence model calibration parameters. The second way will reduce the uncertainty arising from incorrectly treating laminar regions as fully turbulent. First, we propose using direct numerical simulation (DNS) of the compressible Navier– Stokes equations to generate high-quality supersonic boundary layer data for turbulence model calibration. DNS is selected because the technique produces data uncertainties limited only by the available computing resources. We have designed and implemented a new, fullyveriﬁed Fourier/B-spline pseudo-spectral DNS code using “slow growth” temporal boundary layer homogenization approaches by Topalian et al.  to eﬃciently generate well-converged turbulence statistics with accurately quantiﬁed uncertainties. Temporal homogenization is chosen because, unlike the spatial homogenization pioneered by Spalart  and extended by Guarini , this approach introduces no additional spatial terms when the homogenized equations are averaged. Therefore the produced statistics can be directly used within the Bayesian calibration of Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) models as described by Cheung et al.  and Oliver and Moser . The code will be used to create a rich database of compressible turbulence statistics for use by the RANS modeling and uncertainty quantiﬁcation 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 turbulence research. Second, we propose characterizing which regions of an ablative TPS on a blunt-bodied vehicle can sustain turbulence. Given the strength of the favorable pressure gradients found in these ﬂows, it is reasonable to expect that a contiguous region extending some distance radially from the stagnation point simply cannot maintain turbulence. Rather than taking the classical transition modeling approach and seeking where laminar-turbulent transition occurs, this study instead will map where turbulence cannot survive. The supersonic temporal boundary layer DNS code will be reused to perform a parametric study exploring pointwise ﬂow conditions found within simulations like those in Bauman et al. . Fully turbulent ﬁelds will be initialized and evolved at local conditions taken from such simulations. We will say the conditions cannot sustain turbulence if the ﬁeld relaminarizes. This test is conservative because, unlike the true reentry scenario, disturbances cannot exit a periodic simulation domain. To keep the calculations tractable, aerothermochemistry will be neglected and the ablative TPS will be emulated by wall transpiration. We intend to search the rich parameter space of relevant ﬂow conditions (consisting of Reynolds number, Mach number, boundary layer thickness, pressure gradient strength, and wall transpiration rate) by traversing the two-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 conditions taken closer and closer to the stagnation point until the edge of the turbulence-sustaining region is detected. The exploration will inform us where turbulence models should not be employed when simulating these reentry ﬂows. Conceptually, this numerical relaminarization experiment is akin to the classical variational energy method, popularized by Serrin , for determining the stability of a laminar ﬂow to arbitrary disturbances. Characterizing the nonlinear stability of a compressible, viscous, ideal gas with an upper free boundary remains an open analysis problem according to Padula . To both add insight to and aid execution of our study, we propose using the energy method framework to analyze the equations governing the evolution of nonlinear perturbation energy within the homogenized boundary layer. Numerically-obtained, termby-term budgets will guide the analysis and may illuminate valid simplifying assumptions. The goal is to produce a relaminarization diagnostic capturing perturbation energy decay criteria for blunt-bodied reentry ﬂows. Ultimately, the diagnostic may lead to a conservative transition model useful to engineering practitioners working on behalf of cost- and uncertainty-constrained decision makers. Contributions. A list of contributions follows. Each contribution is annotated with the related Computational Science, Engineering, and Mathematics program areas: (A) Applicable Mathematics, (B) Numerical Analysis and Scientiﬁc Computation, and (C) Mathematical Modeling and Applications. AB B B B AB 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
C AB C AC BC
Generation of low-Re compressible, isothermal channel statistics database Extension of Suzerain to temporally-homogenized boundary layer problems Generation of a temporally-homogenized isothermal ﬂat plate statistics database Creation of a relaminarization diagnostic for perturbation energy decay Characterization of the regions on an ablative TPS which can sustain turbulence References
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