The free fall trajectories of flat plates are investigated in order to improve understanding of the forces acting on falling blunt objects. The long term goal is to develop a general applicable model to predict free fall trajectories. Numerically the free fall of a flat plate is investigated using a six degrees of freedom (6DOF) solver and a dynamic mesh. To validate the simulation, the trajectories of aluminium plates falling in water are recorded by digital camera recordings and compared to the simulation. The simulation is able to calculate the motion of the plate within each time step with high accuracy, and thereby allowing the whole trajectory to be predicted with fair accuracy.
With the numerical model able to predict the free fall and the complex plate fluid interactions, fluids forces can be extracted for model development in future studies.