Atmospheric Flow at Alcântara Launch Center
Keywords:Flow around an obstacle, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Atmospheric turbulence, Rocket launch
The atmospheric flow at Alcântara Launch Center (CLA) was studied using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques. To characterize the region were considered the coastal cliff and the Integration Mobile Tower, called TMI, both within the launching and preparation area (SPL). In this study, the cliff was represented by a step of 90° with 40 meters of height. The inlet velocity profile was elaborate according to the power law, with exponent of 0.11, freestream velocity of 20 m/s and Reynolds number of 4.3 x 105, adopting neutral atmosphere. Three wind directions were considered, 90º, 125º and 135°. The numerical model used was the Reynolds Stress Model (RSM), based on the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations. The solution of the equations was obtained by ANSYS FLUENT 19, which uses the finite volume method. The results showed good agreement with the wind tunnel tests especially for wind direction perpendicular to the cliff. The incident wind direction strongly influences the flow dynamics in the SPL forming a helicoidal vortex over the coastal cliff the higher the wind slope.
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