Computational Mechanics

, 48:345

Space–time FSI modeling and dynamical analysis of spacecraft parachutes and parachute clusters

  • Kenji Takizawa
  • Timothy Spielman
  • Tayfun E. Tezduyar
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00466-011-0590-9

Cite this article as:
Takizawa, K., Spielman, T. & Tezduyar, T.E. Comput Mech (2011) 48: 345. doi:10.1007/s00466-011-0590-9


Computer modeling of spacecraft parachutes, which are quite often used in clusters of two or three large parachutes, involves fluid–structure interaction (FSI) between the parachute canopy and the air, geometric complexities created by the construction of the parachute from “rings” and “sails” with hundreds of gaps and slits, and the contact between the parachutes. The Team for Advanced Flow Simulation and Modeling \({({{\rm T} \bigstar {\rm AFSM}})}\) has successfully addressed the computational challenges related to the FSI and geometric complexities, and recently started addressing the challenges related to the contact between the parachutes of a cluster. The core numerical technology is the stabilized space–time FSI technique developed and improved over the years by the \({{{\rm T} \bigstar {\rm AFSM}}}\) . The special technique used in dealing with the geometric complexities is the Homogenized Modeling of Geometric Porosity, which was also developed and improved in recent years by the \({{{\rm T} \bigstar {\rm AFSM}}}\) . In this paper we describe the technique developed by the \({{{\rm T} \bigstar {\rm AFSM}}}\) for modeling, in the context of an FSI problem, the contact between two structural surfaces. We show how we use this technique in dealing with the contact between parachutes. We present the results obtained with the FSI computation of parachute clusters, the related dynamical analysis, and a special decomposition technique for parachute descent speed to make that analysis more informative. We also present a special technique for extracting from a parachute FSI computation model parameters, such as added mass, that can be used in fast, approximate engineering analysis models for parachute dynamics.


Fluid–structure interaction Spacecraft parachutes Parachute clusters Ringsail parachute Space–time technique Geometric porosity Contact 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenji Takizawa
    • 1
  • Timothy Spielman
    • 2
  • Tayfun E. Tezduyar
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Modern Mechanical Engineering, Waseda Institute for Advanced StudyWaseda UniversityShinjuku-ku, TokyoJapan
  2. 2.Mechanical EngineeringRice UniversityHoustonUSA

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