Modeling of Hypersonic Vehicle Flight Dynamics for Control Design and Evaluation

Student :

Sponsor :

Scott Frendreis [Profile]



A vehicle in hypersonic flight experiences complex interactions among unsteady aerodynamic loads, structural deformations, and heat transfer within the structure. Due to the highly-coupled nature of this problem, computational flight simulations are a vital tool in the development of hypersonic vehicles.


The goal of this project is to develop a framework for hypersonic vehicle flight simulation by integrating various physical models, each of which analyzes a particular aspect of hypersonic flight. Some highlights of this project include:

  • Coupling of rigid-body flight dynamics, a fuselage structural dynamics model, and  unsteady aerodynamics

  • Incorporation of an advanced scramjet computational model (MASIV) into the flight analysis framework

  • Current effort is to couple the fuselage aeroelastic/flight dynamics model with an aerothermelastic model of a hypersonic vehicle control surface


Figure 1: NASA vision vehicle under beam-like deformations