›› 2014, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (2): 36-44.doi: 10.3780/j.issn.1000-758X.2014.02.005

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Numerical Study on Aerodynamic Characteristics of an X-37B-like Vehicle

 JIANG  Chong-Wen1, YANG  Jia-Shou2, LI  Ke-Nan1, GAO  Zhen-Xun1,LEE Chun-Hian1   

  1. (1NationalLaboratoryforComputationalFluidDynamics,BeihangUniversity,Beijing100191)
  • Received:2013-07-03 Revised:2013-10-19 Online:2014-04-25 Published:2014-04-25

Abstract: The aerodynamic characteristics of an X-37B-like vehicle in different flight conditions were numerically studied under 50km altitude. The CFD results were analyzed with experimental results of the Space Shuttle and the X-34 vehicle. Numerical simulations indicate that the lift-to-drag ratio of the X-37B-like vehicle is slightly different from that of the Space Shuttle under high Mach number and large angle-of-attack reentry conditions, so the lateral maneuverability of the two vehicles is equivalent. Under subsonic and small angle-of-attack conditions, the lift to drag ratio of the X-37B-like vehicle is higher than the Space Shuttle and lower than that of the X-34 vehicle which indicates that the maneuverability at low speed and the fixed point landing ability of the X-37B-like vehicle are better than that of the Space Shutter but weaker than that of the X-34 vehicle. Configuration differences of winged reentry vehicles have little influence on the lift-to-drag radio of high Mach number and large angle of attack, and have obvious influence on thelift-to-drag radio of subsonic and small angle-of-attack.

Key words: Numericalsimulation, Aerodynamics, Reentry, Reusablespacecraft