Parallel finite element simulation of the flare maneuver of large ram-air parachutes

V. Kalro, W. Garrard, T. Tezduyar

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Currently, there is a requirement to develop large gliding parachutes which could deliver payloads upto 21 tons. Due to the scale effects which influence the dynamic behavior of such parachutes (thus ruling out testing of scaled down models), conventional methods such as drop tests and wind tunnel evaluations are unfeasible or very costly for design purposes. This motivates us to look towards high-performance computing tools as a viable alternative to predict the behavior of such parachutes based on first principles analysis. In this paper we present a methodology to simulate the flare maneuver of ram-air parachutes using stabilized space-time finite element formulation of the Navier-Stokes equations. A special mesh moving scheme is designed to accommodate the translational, pitching and flap motion during the flare maneuver. This scheme is highly parallelizable and is coupled to previously developed optimized parallel methodologies for solving systems with millions of coupled, nonlinear equations in reasonable turn-around times. These computations are carried out on a 512-node Thinking Machines CM-5 supercomputer.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes
Event14th Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Technology Conference, 1997 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 1997 Jun 31997 Jun 5


Other14th Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Technology Conference, 1997
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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