For Aerospace companies like NASA and SpaceX, what do you think their standards are for quality of CFD simulations?

Hello, I was just wondering what the standards are for aerospace companies like NASA and SpaceX. Do they have certain mesh quality standards? Do they have specific turbulence models they prefer, if so do they prefer RANS?
thank you for your time and help,
Frank Lucci

NASA has their own CFD tools (e.g. FUN3D, TLNS3D, etc.), and so does SpaceX. As you can imagine, the kind of problems they deal with are very specific and challenging, so it’s basically a requirement.

I’d recommend having a look at the NACA0012 validation that I posted some days ago. There are a handful of links there which may be insightful.


That’s cool, is there any reasons other reasons they create their own CFD besides the monetary cost for licenses and don’t use other CFD already out there like Simscale or anysis and the specific challenges they have?

I’m sure the issue is not monetary cost with licenses. In fact, they are definitely investing a whole lot of money into researching/building their own solutions.

Their problems are not “usual” problems, so they also require different solutions. Modelling turbulence is probably one of their main challenges, since everything is hypersonic.

In any case, I’ll give you one example which hopefully makes sense. Turbulence models such as k-omega SST, k-epsilon, etc. have a series of model constants. These constants have been refined over the years to be representative of most flows.

However, if you are always using the same kind of application, you could potentially tweak the model constants towards your usual scenario. My point is, the best constants for subsonic flow around a vehicle may not be the best set of constants for aerodynamics around a city model.

The same logic applies to hypersonic flow. Their problem is way too different from usual problems.


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