Numerical Investigation of Aerodynamics of Canard-Controlled Missile Using Planar and Grid Tail Fins, Part I: Supersonic Flow

Report No. ARL-TR-2848
Authors: James DeSpirito, Milton E. Vaughn, Jr., and W. David Washington
Date/Pages: September 2002; 89 pages
Abstract: Viscous computational fluid dynamic simulations were used to predict the aerodynamic coefficients and flowfield around a generic canard-controlled missile configuration in supersonic flow. Computations were performed for Mach 1.5 and 3.0, at six angles of attack between 0 degrees and 10 degrees, with 0 degrees and 10 degrees canard deflection, and with planar and grid tail fins, for a total of 48 cases. Validation of the computed results was demonstrated by the very good agreement between the computed aerodynamic coefficients and those obtained from wind tunnel measurements. Visualizations of the flowfield showed that the canard trailing vortices and downwash produced a low-pressure region on the starboard side of the missile that in turn produced an adverse side force. The pressure differential on the leeward fin produced by the interaction with the canard trailing vorticesis primarily responsible for the adverse roll effect observed when planar fins are used. Grid tail fins improved the roll effectiveness of the canards at low supersonic speed. No adverse rolling moment was observed with no canard deflection, or at the higher supersonic speed for either tail fin type due to the lower intensity of the canard trailing vortices in these cases. Flow visualizations from the simulations performed in this study help in the understanding of the flow physics and can lead to improved canard and tail fin designs for missiles and rockets.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2002