Analysis of Flow Over an Air-Breathing Aerospace Vehicle Using Distributed Computing

The emphasis of the next generation of launch vehicles will be on low cost access to space. An analysis of current launch vehicle technologies reveals that the oxidiser forms a large "weight fraction" of the vehicle. Most of this is consumed within the atmosphere. The powerplant is also sized based on the need to support and accelerate the launch vehicle totally based on the thrust produced. A lifting body would produce lift to support the vehicle and the powerplant needs to overcome the drag and provide for acceleration.

The next generation launch vehicle, it can be concluded, should be an air breathing engine powered lifting body vehicle. It must start off at zero velocity and accelerate to hypersonic speeds. The vehicle is necessarily an integrated powerplant - airframe. Traditionally a piece by piece analysis is performed and "integrated" somehow. It is proposed, here, to attempt a full flow field analysis of the vehicle. This, however, involves enormous computational resources. This "resouce crunch" is to be tackled through the use of the distributed problem solving approach.

Funding Agency: Indian Space Research Organization.
Duration: April, 1996 to April, 1999.

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