Study of Pressure Oscillations in Supersonic Parachute

  • Nimesh Dahal
  • Katsuyoshi Fukiba
  • Kazuki Mizuta
  • Yusuke Maru
Original Paper


Supersonic parachutes are a critical element of planetary mission whose simple structure, light-weight characteristics together with high ratio of aerodynamic drag makes them the most suitable aerodynamic decelerators. The use of parachute in supersonic flow produces complex shock/shock and wake/shock interaction giving rise to dynamic pressure oscillations. The study of supersonic parachute is difficult, because parachute has very flexible structure which makes obtaining experimental pressure data difficult. In this study, a supersonic wind tunnel test using two rigid bodies is done. The wind tunnel test was done at Mach number 3 by varying the distance between the front and rear objects, and the distance of a bundle point which divides suspension lines and a riser. The analysis of Schlieren movies revealed shock wave oscillation which was repetitive and had large pressure variation. The pressure variation differed in each case of change in distance between the front and rear objects, and the change in distance between riser and the rear object. The causes of pressure oscillation are: interaction of wake caused by front object with the shock wave, fundamental harmonic vibration of suspension lines, interference between shock waves, and the boundary layer of suspension lines.


Supersonic flow Parachute Pressure oscillation Shock wave 



Diameter of suspension lines and riser




Length of suspension line


Distance between front and rear object


Distance between the bundling point and the leading edge of rear object


Mach number


Mode number


Number of suspension lines


Total pressure behind shock wave


Reynolds number





\(\gamma \)

Specific heat ratio

\(\rho \)

Linear density of suspension lines



Before passing of shock wave


After passing of shock wave



We would like to thank ISAS, JAXA for providing us opportunities to use supersonic wind tunnel for conducting this research.


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society for Aeronautical & Space Sciences and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nimesh Dahal
    • 1
  • Katsuyoshi Fukiba
    • 1
  • Kazuki Mizuta
    • 1
  • Yusuke Maru
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School of Integrated Science and TechnologyShizuoka UniversityHamamatsuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Space Systems and Astronautics, Institute of Space and Astronautical ScienceJapan Aerospace Exploration AgencySagamiharaJapan

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