Fluid-structure interaction modeling of ringsail parachutes

Tayfun E. Tezduyar, Sunil Sathe, Matthew Schwaab, Jason Pausewang, Jason Christopher, Jason Crabtree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we focus on fluid-structure interaction (FSI) modeling of ringsail parachutes, where the geometric complexity created by the "rings" and "sails" used in the construction of the parachute canopy poses a significant computational challenge. It is expected that NASA will be using a cluster of three ringsail parachutes, referred to as the "mains", during the terminal descent of the Orion space vehicle. Our FSI modeling of ringsail parachutes is based on the stabilized space-time FSI (SSTFSI) technique and the interface projection techniques that address the computational challenges posed by the geometric complexities of the fluid-structure interface. Two of these interface projection techniques are the FSI Geometric Smoothing Technique and the Homogenized Modeling of Geometric Porosity. We describe the details of how we use these two supplementary techniques in FSI modeling of ringsail parachutes. In the simulations we report here, we consider a single main parachute, carrying one third of the total weight of the space vehicle. We present results from FSI modeling of offloading, which includes as a special case dropping the heat shield, and drifting under the influence of side winds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-142
Number of pages10
JournalComputational Mechanics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Drifting
  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Offloading
  • Orion space vehicle
  • Ringsail parachute

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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