AIAA Paper 2003-1103. Presented at the 41st Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, January 6, 2003, pages 1-14. This article is in the public domain. Published by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Russell M. Cummings was on sabbatical leave from Cal Poly.
An assessment of unstructured grids for use in Detached-Eddy Simulations (DES) of vortical flowfields over two configurations, a 70 degree delta wing and an F-18C are presented. The role of the grid in detached eddy simulations of vortical flowfields, including complex features such as vortex breakdown, is assessed on a delta wing with comparison to wind tunnel data. Adaptive mesh refinement is applied to the delta wing grid to improve the focus region aft of the vortex breakdown where massively separated flow exists and unsteady pressures are generated that could impact the loads on vertical tails of more complex configurations. The adaptively refined mesh is compared to the baseline mesh to determine the advantage of the adaptive mesh refinement approach for vortex breakdown. The focus region grid resolution is then applied to an F-18C in the region of the vortex generat ed from the leading edge extension (LEX). The resulting unsteady tail loads are compared to flight test data from the NASA F-18 HARV database. This paper represents one of the first times adaptive mesh refinement will be applied to a detached eddy simulation of a flight vehicle configuration.