Fluid-structure interaction modeling of spacecraft parachutes for simulation-based design

Kenji Takizawa*, Timothy Spielman, Creighton Moorman, Tayfun E. Tezduyar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Even though computer modeling of spacecraft parachutes involves a number of numerical challenges, advanced techniques developed in recent years for fluid-structure interaction (FSI) modeling in general and for parachute FSI modeling specifically have made simulation-based design studies possible. In this paper we focus on such studies for a single main parachute to be used with the Orion spacecraft. Although these large parachutes are typically used in clusters of two or three parachutes, studies for a single parachute can still provide valuable information for performance analysis and design and can be rather extensive. The major challenges in computer modeling of a single spacecraft parachute are the FSI between the air and the parachute canopy and the geometric complexities created by the construction of the parachute from rings and sails with hundreds of gaps and slits. The Team for Advanced Flow Simulation and Modeling has successfully addressed the computational challenges related to the FSI and geometric complexities, and has also been devising special procedures as needed for specific design parameter studies. In this paper we present parametric studies based on the suspension line length, canopy loading, and the length of the overinflation control line.

Original languageEnglish
Article number010907
JournalJournal of Applied Mechanics, Transactions ASME
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 1


  • fluid-structure interaction
  • geometric porosity
  • parametric studies
  • ringsail parachute
  • simulation-based design
  • space-time technique
  • spacecraft parachutes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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