Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2018

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Type



This study aims to numerically simulate the wind tunnel results for hypersonic flow over a circular cone of semi-apex angle of 10 degrees yawed from 0° to 20° using the commercial computational fluid dynamics software ANSYS Fluent. The ANSYS workbench is used to create the 10° semi-apex circular cone with a shock aligned structured mesh of 3.05 million cells surrounding the cone. Simulation boundary conditions for pressure and temperature in the far field correspond to Tracy’s wind tunnel experiment at Cal Tech. The six simulations cases are conducted for yaw angles of 0, 8, 12, 16, 20 and 24 degrees. The unsteady Reynolds-Averaged compressible Navier-Stokes solver with Spalart-Allmaras (SA) turbulence model is employed. The upstream flow Mach number is M = 8 and Reynolds number is Reꝏ = 4.2 x105 based on cone generator length. The maximum variation in static pressure computations around the cone is 7% of the experimental values and the maximum variation in heat transfer computations is within 12% of the experimental values; the maximum difference between the computations and experiment occurs at the leeward meridian of the cone. By further refinement of the mesh and using other turbulence models, it is possible that computational accuracy of the simulations may be further improved; however it requires additional investigation. Nevertheless the present simulations demonstrate that CFD can be employed with sufficient accuracy to compute the hypersonic flows about space vehicles with fully turbulent flow.


English (en)


Ramesh K. Agarwal

Committee Members

David A. Peters Swami Karunamoorthy


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