A method was developed of obtaining propulsive base flow data in both hot and cold jet environments, at Mach numbers and altitude of relevance to NASA launcher designs. The base flow data was used to perform computational fluid dynamics (CFD) turbulence model assessments of base flow predictive capabilities in order to provide increased confidence in base thermal and pressure load predictions obtained from computational modeling efforts. Predictive CFD analyses were used in the design of the experiments, available propulsive models were used to reduce program costs and increase success, and a wind tunnel facility was used.
The data obtained allowed assessment of CFD/turbulence
models in a complex flow environment, working within a
building-block procedure to validation, where cold, non-reacting
test data was first used for validation, followed by more
complex reacting base flow validation.