This article reviews the computational technology being developed by the Team for Advanced Flow Simulation and Modeling (T*AFSM) at Rice University in Houston and Waseda University in Tokyo that can reliably predict the performance of various NASA parachute designs. The data from these simulations permit NASA to focus on a few of the most promising designs for testing, and also lets designers explore a greater number of alternative designs. The T*AFSM modeled a base design that NASA put through a drop test over the desert, and the team was very pleased to see that the predictions of its model held up well against data from that NASA test. For instance, the computer model predicted a descent speed of 21.4 feet per second, which was within 10% of the average speed observed in the test. Other predictions—such as the rate of swinging and breathing periods—were well within 10% of the observed behavior of parachutes in the physical test.
Bringing them Down Safely
Kenji Takizawa is associate professor in the Department of Modern Mechanical Engineering and Waseda Institute for Advanced Study of Waseda University in Tokyo.
Tayfun E. Tezduyar is the James F. Barbour Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Rice University in Houston. Each author is the leader of the Team for Advanced Flow Simulation and Modeling at his respective university.
Takizawa, K., and Tezduyar, T. E. (December 1, 2012). "Bringing them Down Safely." ASME. Mechanical Engineering. December 2012; 134(12): 34–37. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2012-DEC-2
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