Modeling and Simulation (M&S) as part of the Aeronautical Engineering major at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) has grown from a one course introduction to an integrated and essential component for developing future aerospace leaders. This paper documents the progress the USAFA Department of Aeronautics (DFAN) has made since 2003 to teach cadets, through a 2-course sequence, how to gain an understanding of aerodynamic phenomena using computational methods made possible with Department of Defense (DoD) High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) resources. The first course in of the sequence builds upon demonstrations, made in early core coursework, to relatively simple applications and reinforcement of introductory fluid aerodynamics. The second course further develops the "intelligent users" of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) by working as teams on current USAF research projects. Cadet projects have included participation on the C2D Challenge Project, study of plasma actuators, comparison of wake characteristics for NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), and drag validation simulations for the C-130P. These projects made extensive use of high performance computing (HPC) resources at the Alaska Regional Supercomputing Center (ARSC) as well as Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC). Besides the external validation of project sponsors, the curriculum has received very high student satisfaction on End-of-Course evaluations comparing well with the highest rated courses at USAFA.


Aerospace Engineering

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