Abstract

In this study, we examined the aerodynamic loading on a small caliber rifle (spin stabilized) projectile moving in a muzzle flow field using an element method to analyze the loading and the effect of the angle of attack (for small angles from 0 to 3 deg) on the different components. The temporal pressure distribution on the projectile, which forms the basis of the element method, was computed using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis combined with a classical interior ballistics model. Then, a high-speed optical experiment was conducted to verify the results of the CFD method and ensure the accuracy of the calculations. The results were as follows: (a) similar to a large caliber projectile, the total axial force, which consisted primarily of the axial forces on the base and boattail, was found to have an inverse exponential relationship with time; (b) the overall lift was a combination of the lift of the base, boattail, cylinder, and nose; and (c) the interaction between the pitch moment of the base and that of the boattail was found to be the primary contributing factor to the total pitch moment. Based on these results, we recommend that the characteristics of the base and boattail be considered when specifying the geometric configuration of a projectile.

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