Based on forthcoming USAF needs, an investigation was launched to
further the understanding of aft dispense of munitions in a
high-speed environment. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study
was performed followed by a wind tunnel experiment. The study
consisted of a strut-mounted cone simulating a parent vehicle and a
sting mounted cone-cylinder store situated directly behind the
cone. The CFD modeled the test objects inside a supersonic wind
tunnel in which the experiments took place. The CFD study consisted
of evaluating a new strut designed to reduce asymmetry in the
airflow aft of the cone. The CFD study also included predictions of
axial loads acting on the store in various locations behind the
cone. The experimental study consisted of implementing the new
strut and introducing a miniature load cell for comparison to CFD
load predictions. The CFD study indicated the newly designed strut
lengthened the cone's base region by 27% and reduced transverse
forces acting on the store by as much as 50% in two of the three
locations evaluated. The experimental studies were successful in
obtaining axial force coefficients that matched the CFD trend and
were typically within 30% of the magnitudes. It was concluded that
the load cell was generally adequate in measuring the axial loading
on the store though its accuracy is less than that of a typical
wind tunnel balance. The error trends indicate that the polymer
store introduces the least amount of statistical error making it
the most accurate representation of the results. Significant
sources of error include transverse vibrations and axial buffeting
observed in the wind tunnel tests.
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