Computational Methods for Parachute Fluid-Structure Interactions

Kenji Takizawa*, Tayfun E. Tezduyar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Citations (Scopus)


The computational challenges posed by fluid-structure interaction (FSI) modeling of parachutes include the lightness of the parachute canopy compared to the air masses involved in the parachute dynamics, in the case of "ringsail" parachutes the geometric complexities created by the construction of the canopy from "rings" and "sails" with hundreds of ring "gaps" and sail "slits", and in the case of parachute clusters the contact between the parachutes. The Team for Advanced Flow Simulation and Modeling (T*AFSM) has successfully addressed these computational challenges with the Stabilized Space-Time FSI (SSTFSI) technique, which was developed and improved over the years by the T*AFSM and serves as the core numerical technology, and a number of special techniques developed in conjunction with the SSTFSI technique. The quasi-direct and direct coupling techniques developed by the T*AFSM, which are applicable to cases with incompatible fluid and structure meshes at the interface, yield more robust algorithms for FSI computations where the structure is light and therefore more sensitive to the variations in the fluid dynamics forces. The special technique used in dealing with the geometric complexities of the rings and sails is the Homogenized Modeling of Geometric Porosity, which was developed and improved in recent years by the T*AFSM. The Surface-Edge-Node Contact Tracking (SENCT) technique was introduced by the T*AFSM as a contact algorithm where the objective is to prevent the structural surfaces from coming closer than a minimum distance in an FSI computation. The recently-introduced conservative version of the SENCT technique is more robust and is now an essential technology in the parachute cluster computations carried out by the T*AFSM. We provide an overview of the core and special techniques developed by the T*AFSM, present single-parachute FSI computations carried out for design-parameter studies, and report FSI computation and dynamical analysis of two-parachute clusters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-169
Number of pages45
JournalArchives of Computational Methods in Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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