Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: Application Domains

Fluid flow applications

Specific actions are devoted to the problem of atmospheric reentry simulations. We focus on several aspects : i) on the development of innovative algorithms improving the prediction of hypersonic flows and including system uncertainties, ii) on the application of these methods to the atmospheric reentry of space vehicles for the control and the optimization of the trajectory, iii) on the debris reentry, which is of fundamental importance for NASA, CNES and ESA. Several works are already initiated with funding from CNES, Thales, and ASL. An ongoing activity concerns the design of the Thermal Protection System (TPS) that shields the spacecraft from aerothermal heating, generated by friction at the surface of the vehicle. The TPS is usually composed of different classes of materials, depending on the mission and the planned trajectory. One major issue is to model accurately the material response to ensure a safe design. High-fidelity material modeling for ablative materials has been developed by NASA, but a lot of work is still needed concerning the assessment of physical and modeling uncertainties during the design process. Our objective is to set up a predictive numerical tool to reliably estimate the response of ablative materials for different aerothermal conditions.

An important effort is dedicated to the simulation of fluids featuring complex thermodynamic behavior, in the context of two distinct projects: the VIPER project, funded by Aquitaine Region, and a project with CWI (Scientific Computing Group). Dense gases (DGs) are defined as single-phase vapors operating at temperatures and pressures conditions close to the saturation curve. The interest in studying complex dynamics of compressible dense gas flows comes from the potential technological advantages of using these fluids in energy conversion cycles, such as in Organic Rankine Cycles (ORCs) which used dense gases as energy converters for biomass fuels and low-grade heat from geothermal or industrial waste heat sources. Since these fluids feature large uncertainties in their estimated thermodynamic properties (critical properties, acentric factor, etc.), a meaningful numerical prediction of the performance must necessarily take into account these uncertainties. Other sources of uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the inlet boundary conditions which are often unknown in dense gases applications. Moreover, a robust optimization must also include the more generic uncertainty introduced by the machining tolerance in the construction of the turbine blades.