Computational Fluid Dynamics and Fluid-Structure Interaction Analysis

ATA’s computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and fluid-structure interaction (FSI) analysis services encompass the prediction of the dynamic response of fluids, as well as thermal and/or mechanical fluid loading of structures (e.g., aircraft, spacecraft, and propulsion systems).

We have experience simulating many different types of fluids (e.g., gases, liquids, and multiphase fluids) across many regimes (laminar, turbulent, inviscid, viscous, etc.) using industry-leading software tools on both in-house and external computing resources. Aerodynamics projects in particular span the low-speed through hypersonic regimes. Members of our staff have specialized expertise in different branches of fluid dynamics, such as propulsion, reacting flows, FSI, rotorcraft, turbomachinery, and acoustics. We frequently develop unique tools and capabilities, including solver customization, in support of our customers.

External Aerodynamics and Wind Loads

ATA regularly simulates flow over bodies in flight, such as atmospheric vehicles, as well as ground-based structures. Our capabilities span steady flow simulation of mean forces and moments over bodies to time-resolved large-eddy simulation (LES) to capture unsteady fluid dynamic loading. Our experience also extends to six-degree-of-freedom (6-DOF) simulations of multibody dynamics under fluid loads. We can simulate flows in free flight or in wind tunnels. Examples of types of projects we perform include the following:

  • Flows over atmospheric flight vehicles and projectiles
  • Flows over external protuberances, scoops, stores, etc.
  • Road vehicle aerodynamics
  • Sports aerodynamics
  • Wind loading of buildings and outdoor structures
  • 6-DOF separation dynamics of vehicle stores

Internal Flows and Propulsion Systems

We are experienced at simulating internal flow systems across a variety of flow regimes, including propulsion systems such as air-breathing engines and rocket engines, as well as their subcomponents. Our experience extends to multispecies and reacting flows, including those in high-speed air-breathing propulsion systems such as scramjet engines. Examples of projects include the following:

  • Inlets, nozzles, mixers, and ejectors
  • Turbomachinery components (pumps, compressors, turbines)
  • Scramjet components

Industrial Applications

ATA performs CFD simulations for a wide range of industrial customers with diverse requirements. In many cases, our customers have not used CFD in their design process until they work with us, and our modeling and simulation provide the first insights into their concepts or designs. We are accustomed to supporting pretest activities, using CFD to aid in test planning and posttest validation. Examples of projects include the following:

  • Cooling and ventilation of rooms, compartments, and confined spaces
  • Electronics cooling and thermal management
  • Multiphase flows, including sloshing and droplet formation

Fluid-Structure and Fluid-Thermal-Structural Analysis (FTSI)

FSI and FTSI are examples of ATA’s multiphysics framework, which incorporates disciplines from across our company, including fluid dynamics, structural dynamics, thermal, ablation, material characterization, and flight controls, to perform high-fidelity, fully coupled aero-thermo-ablative-servo-elastic analyses or a combination of a subset of these disciplines. ATA’s tools have extended to support the fully coupled analysis of hypersonic vehicle structures. Examples of FSI and FTSI projects include the following:

  • Forced response of structures from unsteady fluid loading
  • Fully coupled simulation of static and dynamic aeroelastic stability and/or flutter
  • Conjugate heat transfer and development of thermal management solutions
  • Coupled aerothermoelastic response of structures in hypersonic flows
  • Development of advanced rotorcraft FSI tools

Prototype Design and Experimental Validation

In addition to our analysis services, we have experience developing test articles and prototypes
for wind tunnel and/or fluid dynamic testing. Our research and development activities have also allowed us to lead a number of first-of-its-kind tests which have led us into the development of new methods. A few examples include the following:

  • Full-scale turbofan demonstration of a nozzle engine air-brake nozzle for quiet approach
  • Design, optimization, and testing of an asymmetric payload fairing
  • Design and testing of a novel fluctuating pressure sensor array for improved load characterization
  • Design and testing of continuous-scanning acoustic arrays for aircraft and engine noise characterization
  • Design, analysis, and testing support for hypersonic wind tunnel test articles


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