Modeling of Hypersonic Vehicle Flight Dynamics for Control Design and Evaluation

Student : Scott Frendreis

Sponsor : NASA


A vehicle in hypersonic flight experiences complex interactions among unsteady aerodynamic loads, structural deformations, and heat transfer within the structure. Due to the highly-coupled nature of this problem, computational flight simulations are a vital tool in the development of hypersonic vehicles.

The goal of this project is to develop a framework for hypersonic vehicle flight simulation by integrating various physical models, each of which analyzes a particular aspect of hypersonic flight. Some highlights of this project include:

  • Coupling of rigid-body flight dynamics, a fuselage structural dynamics model, and  unsteady aerodynamics
  • Incorporation of an advanced scramjet computational model (MASIV) into the flight analysis framework
  • Current effort is to couple the fuselage aeroelastic/flight dynamics model with an aerothermoelastic model of a hypersonic vehicle control surface
Figure 1: NASA vision vehicle under beam-like deformations