Grid fins are unconventional control surfaces consisting of an outer frame supporting an inner grid of intersecting planar surfaces. Although afflicted with higher drag, these have been credited for their enhanced lifting characteristics at high angles of attack and high Mach numbers, alongside reduced hinge moments accounting for the recent upsurge in their usage on numerous aerospace applications. Present investigations carry out elaborate flow field visualization and characterization underlining the rudimentary physics through a sequence of subsonic numerical simulations performed at different angles of attack and different gap (between the members) to chord ratios on a simplified grid fin variant called cascade fin. The study makes use of a new nondimensionalization technique called cumulative nondimensionalization to decipher the effect of cascading on individual members of the fin. Hence, after a comprehensive examination of the aerodynamic coefficients, pressure coefficient distribution, pressure gradient, velocity gradient, boundary layer velocity profile, and flow field visualization, the study elucidates physics associated with hastened stall angle, augmented lift-drag, and bounded efficiency accretion for gap increment.

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