Fluid-structure interaction by the mixed SPH-FE method with application to aircraft ditching

P Groenenboom, M Siemann


This paper deals with numerical simulation of fluid-structure interaction as it occurs during aircraft ditching – an emergency condition where an aircraft is forced to land on water. The work is motivated by the requirement for aircraft manufactures to analyze ditching as part of the aircraft certification process requested by airworthiness authorities.

The strong interaction of highly non-linear fluid flow phenomena and structural responses requires a coupled solution of this transient problem. Therefore, an approach coupling Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics and the Finite Element method within the commercial, explicit software Virtual Performance Solutions has been pursued.

In this paper, several innovative features are presented, which allow for accurate and efficient solution. Finally, exemplary numerical results are successfully compared to experimental data from a unique test campaign of guided ditching tests at quasi-full scale impact conditions.

It may be concluded that through the application of state-of-the-art numerical techniques it has become possible to simulate the coupled fluidstructure interaction as occurring during ditching. Therefore, aircraft manufacturers may significantly benefit from numerical analysis for design and certification purposes.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1260/1750-9548.9.3.249

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