In an attempt to explain the high loss of panels from the south face of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) during Hurricane Frances, a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (3-D CFD) model was developed to simulate local velocity and pressure distributions resulting from such a storm. A preconditioned compressible Navier-Stokes flow solver1 was used to compute the flow field around the VAB complex, including the Launch Control Center, the Low and High Bays of the VAB, and several outbuildings in the immediate LC-39 area. The mapping of the forces and velocities on and along the affected faces of the VAB correlated surprisingly well with the extensive damage areas realized on both on the south face and on the southeast section of the roof. The model results were also consistent with the minimal damage seen on the east, north, and west faces of the structure.

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