Postprint version. Published in AIAA Journal, Volume 48, Issue 12, December 1, 2010, pages 2916-2930.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Graham Doig was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.2514/1.J050505.
Flow around a Mach 2.4 NATO 5.56 mm projectile in close proximity to a ground plane was investigated using computational fluid dynamics for a direct numerical reproduction of live-range experiments. The numerical approach was validated against both the live-range tests and subsequent wind-tunnel experiments. A nonspinning half-model and a full, spinning projectile were examined to clarify the influence of rotation. Multiple ground clearances were tested to obtain clear trends in changes to the aerodynamic coefficients, and the three-dimensional propagation and reflection of the shock waves were considered in detail. The behavior of the flow in the near wake was also studied as ground clearance was reduced. Ground proximity was found to significantly increase the drag force acting on the projectile, as well as generate a force normal to the ground and an increased side force, when ground clearance was less than one diameter. For clearances between approximately 0.4 and 1 diameter, the pitching moment produced was nose-down. For lower clearances, a more distinct nose-up trend was produced. The generated side force was orders of magnitude lower than the normal and drag forces.