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Shape Optimization of Reentry Vehicles to Minimize Heat Loading

Eyi, Sinan
Hanquist, Kyle M
Boyd, I D
The objective of the current study is to design an optimum reentry vehicle shape that minimizes heat loading subject to constraints on the maximum values of surface heat flux and temperature. A new heat loading formulation is developed for objective function evaluations. Axisymmetric Navier-Stokes and finite-rate chemical reaction equations are solved to evaluate the objective and constraint functions. The Menter SST turbulence model is employed for turbulence closure. A gradient-based method is used for optimization. The sensitivities of the objective and constraint functions are evaluated using the finite-difference method. In shape optimization, the geometry change or the geometry itself is parameterized using different numbers of nonuniform rational basis spline (NURBS) or Bezier curves. Designs are performed at different trajectory points of the IRV-2 vehicle. The effects of flight path angle and reentry velocity on the heat transfer and trajectory characteristics of the original and designed geometries are quantified.