Multidisciplinary applications of detached-eddy simulation to separated flows at high Reynolds numbers

S. A. Morton, M. Steenman, R. M. Cummings, J. R. Forsythe, K. E. Wurtzler, Kyle Squires, S. H. Woodson, P. R. Spalart

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


We focus on multidisciplinary applications of detached-eddy simulation (DES), principally flight mechanics and aeroelasticity. Specifically, the lateral instability (known as abrupt wing stall) of the preproduction F/A-18E is reproduced using DES, including the unsteady shock motion. The presence of low frequency pressure oscillations due to shock motion in the current simulations and the experiments motivated a full aircraft calculation, which showed low frequency high-magnitude rolling moments that could be a significant contributor to the abrupt wing stall phenomenon. DES is also applied to the F-18 high angle of attack research vehicle (HARV) at a moderate angle of attack to reproduce the vortex breakdown leading to vertical stabilizer buffet. Unsteady tail loads are compared to flight test data. This work lays the foundation for future deforming grid calculations to reproduce the aero-elastic tail buffet seen in flight test. Solution based grid adaption is used on unstructured grids in both cases to improve the resolution in the separated region. Previous DoD Challenge work has demonstrated the unique ability of the DES turbulence treatment to accurately and efficiently predict flows with massive separation at flight Reynolds numbers. DES calculations have been performed using the Cobalt code and on unstructured grids, an approach that can deal with complete configurations with very few compromises. A broad range of flows has been examined in previous Challenge work, including aircraft forebodies, airfoil sections, a missile afterbody, vortex breakdown on a delta wing, and the F-16 and F-15E at high angles-of-attack. All DES predictions exhibited a moderate to significant improvement over results obtained using traditional Reynolds-averaged models and often excellent agreement with experimental/flight-test data. DES combines the efficiency of a Reynolds-averaged turbulence model near the wall with the fidelity of Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) in separated regions. Since it uses Large-Eddy Simulation in the separated regions, it is capable of predicting the unsteady motions associated with separated flows. The development and demonstration of improved methods for the prediction of flight mechanics and aeroelasticity in this Challenge is expected to reduce the acquisition cost of future military aircraft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2003 User Group Conference
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)0769519539, 9780769519531
StatePublished - 2003
Event2003 User Group Conference - Bellevue, United States
Duration: Jun 9 2003Jun 13 2003

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2003 User Group Conference


Other2003 User Group Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Aerospace simulation
  • Aircraft
  • Cobalt
  • Electric breakdown
  • Electric shock
  • Frequency
  • Predictive models
  • Tail
  • Testing
  • Vehicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Oceanography
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Atmospheric Science


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