Experimental and CFD Analysis of Aerial Refueling System 2006-01-2386
This paper outlines preliminary results of experimental and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis of a free-flight aerial refueling system, called “paradrogue.” Working in close collaboration with Arizona Paradrogue Systems (APS), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) is currently conducting a series of low-speed wind tunnel testing along with unsteady CFD simulation in order to qualitatively understand the fundamental aerodynamics of a paradrogue in simplified 2-D model. A particular interest of this research work is to determine horizontal and vertical aerodynamic force components (analogous to “lift” and “drag” forces) as paradrogue’s parachute (fabric) section, called the “canopy,” changes its Angle of Attack (AoA) relative to the free-stream direction. It is important to understand the fundamental aerodynamics of a paradrogue canopy, especially at refueling flight condition, in order to improve the design process of a new paradrogue. The 2-D qualitative analysis results of this currently ongoing work (ERAU) are further reflected into full-scale prototype wind tunnel testing (APS) currently conducted at a large-scale subsonic wind tunnel.