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Free online basic aerodynamics simulator?

Discussion in 'Science' started by PhysicsDrills, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. PhysicsWithKeith

    PhysicsWithKeith New commenter

    I'm doing a rocket project with my year 7s and I'd like the students to model their rocket designs using software to improve the aerodynamics. Ideally I'd like the students to be able to draw in their own geometry (maybe drag and drop shapes, even 2D would be useful at this stage) and press a button to see how the stream lines behave.
    Does such software exist?
     
  2. PhysicsWithKeith

    PhysicsWithKeith New commenter

    I'm doing a rocket project with my year 7s and I'd like the students to model their rocket designs using software to improve the aerodynamics. Ideally I'd like the students to be able to draw in their own geometry (maybe drag and drop shapes, even 2D would be useful at this stage) and press a button to see how the stream lines behave.
    Does such software exist?
     
  3. rich_hodgetts

    rich_hodgetts New commenter

    What you are after is mathematically very challenging. The ability to predict streamline patterns requires serious computing power. All I could suggest is to get in touch with a local university and see if they have a low speed wind tunnel that you may be able to use to do some testing or to steer your students down a slightly different but equally fun path.
    I don't know what you know about rocket design but you can have some fun balancing rockets. Students can manipulate the centre of gravity (with nose weight) and the centre of pressure (with fins) to find a stable design. This can be tested by tying a piece of string to the rockets centre of gravity and whirling the rocket around. If the tail follows the nose then the rocket is stable, if it tumbles then it is unstable.
    The best rocket designs for minimum drag are stable but only just!

    Rich
     
  4. FoilSim is a piece of NASA software that you can use to change the shape of an aerofoil (wing cross section) and see the changes in lift. I haven't used it for years and don't remember a rocket application but I think it showed the flow of air over the foil.
    Sam
     

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