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CFD Analysis of Grid Fin Application on Missile in Supersonic Flow Regime

Author Affiliations

  • 1CFD Rolls- Royce Division, QuEST Global Pvt. Ltd, Bengaluru, India
  • 2Mechanical Engineering, Oriental University, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India

Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 5, Issue (9), Pages 51-56, September,2 (2016)


This research paper gives outcome of a study demonstrating a methodology for adopting computational fluid dynamics simulation to study the aerodynamics for ballistic missile with lattice fins and conventional fins at different flow regimes like subsonic, supersonic and transonic flow regimes. A grid fin or lattice fin is normally unusual control surface which is composed of an external frame supporting an internal grid of planar intersecting surfaces having small chord length. Simulations are performed for a series of Mach number values and freestream angles between 0 to 25 degree for the lattice fin as well as the conventional planar fin. Modeling of unconventional grid fin missile and conventional planar fin missile is done in CAD software called Pro-Engineer Wildfire. The meshing of geometry is done using the pre- processor named Ansys ICEM-CFD. Further, the solving and post processing is done in Solver and Post-processor called Ansys-CFX/ CFD-Post. Close conformity in results were seen for both the cases. The simulation is also giving good results for the flow structure calculations within the region of the fin for the higher freestream angles. The results were also close in predicting the flow behaviour over the individual grid fins subjected under subsonic and supersonic regimes. Thus, the enhanced aerodynamic characteristics and control effectiveness of grid fins can be observed unlike the conventional fins. Grid fins produce much higher pitching moments and lift forces to overcome the drag forces, which are produced due to higher angle of attack. The missile with grid/lattice fin arrangement generates greater normal force at diverse angles of attack than compared to the planar fins. The force along the axial direction of the grid/lattice fin missile arrangement was about 0.8 times higher than the planar fin missile.


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