Transportation accidents frequently involve liquids dispersing in the atmosphere. An example is that of aircraft impacts, which often result in spreading fuel and a subsequent fire. Predicting the resulting environment is of interest for design, safety, and forensic applications. This environment is challenging for many reasons, one among them being the disparate time and length scales that must be resolved for an accurate physical representation of the problem. A recent computational method appropriate for this class of problems has been developed for modeling the impact and subsequent liquid spread. This involves coupling a structural dynamics code to a turbulent computational fluid mechanics reacting flow code. Because the environment intended to be simulated with this capability is difficult to instrument and costly to test, the existing validation data are of limited scope, relevance, and quality. A rocket sled test is being performed where a scoop moving through a water channel is being used to brake a pusher sled. We plan to instrument this test to provide appropriate scale data for validating the new modeling capability. The intent is to get high fidelity data on the break-up and evaporation of the water that is ejected from the channel as the sled is braking. These two elements are critical to fireball formation for this type of event involving fuel in the place of water. We demonstrate our capability in this paper by describing the pre-test predictions which are used to locate instrumentation for the actual test. We also present a sensitivity analysis to understand the implications of length scale assumptions on the prediction results.

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