Multiscale methods for gore curvature calculations from FSI modeling of spacecraft parachutes

Kenji Takizawa*, Tayfun E. Tezduyar, Ryan Kolesar, Cody Boswell, Taro Kanai, Kenneth Montel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


There are now some sophisticated and powerful methods for computer modeling of parachutes. These methods are capable of addressing some of the most formidable computational challenges encountered in parachute modeling, including fluid–structure interaction (FSI) between the parachute and air flow, design complexities such as those seen in spacecraft parachutes, and operational complexities such as use in clusters and disreefing. One should be able to extract from a reliable full-scale parachute modeling any data or analysis needed. In some cases, however, the parachute engineers may want to perform quickly an extended or repetitive analysis with methods based on simplified models. Some of the data needed by a simplified model can very effectively be extracted from a full-scale computer modeling that serves as a pilot. A good example of such data is the circumferential curvature of a parachute gore, where a gore is the slice of the parachute canopy between two radial reinforcement cables running from the parachute vent to the skirt. We present the multiscale methods we devised for gore curvature calculation from FSI modeling of spacecraft parachutes. The methods include those based on the multiscale sequentially-coupled FSI technique and using NURBS meshes. We show how the methods work for the fully-open and two reefed stages of the Orion spacecraft main and drogue parachutes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1461-1476
Number of pages16
JournalComputational Mechanics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Fluid–structure interaction
  • Gore curvature
  • Multiscale methods
  • NURBS meshes
  • Orion drogue parachutes
  • Orion main parachutes
  • Reefed stages
  • Sequentially-coupled FSI
  • Spacecraft parachutes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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