Development of an Aerothermal Modeling and Simulation Code for Hypersonic Applications

Navy SBIR 22.1 - Topic N221-081
SSP - Strategic Systems Programs
Opens: January 12, 2022 - Closes: February 10, 2022 (12:00pm est)

N221-081 TITLE: Development of an Aerothermal Modeling and Simulation Code for Hypersonic Applications

OUSD (R&E) MODERNIZATION PRIORITY: General Warfighting Requirements (GWR);Hypersonics

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Battlespace Environments;Space Platforms;Weapons

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Develop a high fidelity modeling and simulation code that can be used to accurately model the physics associated with aerothermal flow, high temperature material response, and thermal protection system (TPS) design for hypersonic flight systems. Emphasis should be placed on non-linear structure analysis, material contact, and thermal conduction and radiation analysis between material interfaces.

DESCRIPTION: The extreme operating environments of hypersonic flight systems require ultra high temperature capable aeroshell materials that have robust loading capability to ensure mission survivability. These aeroshell materials experience very challenging aerothermal and thermo-structural environments during flight which is very challenging to predict. There are a number of legacy and commercial codes that have proven to be accurate when calculating aeroheating effects such as nosetip, leading edge, and missile body heating and material ablation, which include physics such as inviscid and viscous flow, shock structure, and boundary layer transition. Likewise, there are a many Finite Element Codes that are excellent for calculating 3D structural response to understand material loading capability including non-linear, transient thermostructural response of a full size Thermal Protection System (TPS) component. However these Finite Element Analyses (FEA) codes are not capable of adapting to the transient aerothermal flow physics that aeroshell materials experience during a hypersonic flight environment such as calculating shape change to the missile body as a function of time. Current modeling and simulation techniques for Navy TPS systems utilize these tools by making assumptions and manually mapping results from aerothermal specific codes to an FEA simulation, which is very time consuming and costly. There is a need for an improved methodology for coupling aerothermal codes to these FEA solvers to provide an integrated simulation capability.

The government is seeking a solution to bring these tools together to provide a high fidelity aerothermal and TPS design tool that can automate the process of coupling aerothermal physics and material response into FEA thermo-structural models for a complete aero-thermal-mechanical survivability analysis across Navy hypersonic flight trajectories.

Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. owned and operated with no foreign influence as defined by DoD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been implemented and approved by the Defense Counterintelligence Security Agency (DCSA). The selected contractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this project as set forth by DCSA and SSP in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advanced phases of this contract.

PHASE I: Demonstrate proof of concept, knowledge and understanding of codes that provide accurate aerothermal and heating codes to prove the applicability to Navy hypersonic flight systems. A clear concept on how to demonstrate that the outputs from the aerothermal codes can be brought in as inputs to the FEA software to update the 3D structural model as a function of time. Decide the best method to apply the coupling of the aerothermal and FEA codes (relevant codes will be provided upon Phase I award) for the most robust and feasible solution (e.g., sub routine, script interface, or a completely separate executable/file). Demonstrate software and sequence diagrams of how the tool(s) will calculate results. Analysis will be performed to show feasibility of aerothermal and FEA solvers functionality. The Phase I Option, if exercised, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype solution in Phase II.

PHASE II: Develop a prototype utilizing representative vehicle geometry and flight trajectories as provided by the government and also based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II Statement of Work (SOW). The developed model should consist of two concepts: computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and a heat transfer portion. Phase II will include utilizing classified vehicle geometry and flight trajectories to provide benchmark testing versus as-flown Navy hypersonic flight data. In Phase II, verification and validation (V&V) should be in the scope of work. Compare the prototype with bench test and flight test data.

It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase II (see Description section for details).

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy use. The final product shall be a delivered code, package outlining the script/functionalities of the developed code and documentation for the model. The final design will be in consideration for being transitioned into the Navyís Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) hypersonic weapon system modeling and simulation tools. A suitable code solution, verified with benchmark testing with as-flown data is required for the future toolset to optimize vehicle design. In addition, this technology can be transitioned for use in analyzing other Navy and Air Force hypersonic and ballistic weapon systems for optimization of vehicle design. Commercially, future hypersonic transportation vehicles and high speed aerospace systems would benefit from this code solution as it would provide valuable data for design optimization of the mentioned vehicles.


  1. Blades, E.L; Shah, P. N.; Nucci, M.; Miskovish, R. S. "Demonstration of Multiphysics Analysis Tools on Representative Hypersonic Vehicle Structures." Boston, Massachusetts: ATA Engineering, Inc., 54th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Confernce, 11 April 2013.
  2. Tauqeer ul Islam Rizvi, S; Linshu He; Dajun Xu. "Optimal Trajectory Analysis of Hypersonic Boost-glide Waverider with Heat Load Constraint." Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, ISSN:0002-2667, 5 July 2015.
  3. Shih, Peter; Zwan, Allen; Kelley, Michael. "Thermal Protection System Optimization for a Hypersonic Aerospace Vehicle." San Diego, California: General Dynamics Convair Division, 17 August 2012.

KEYWORDS: Hypersonics; Modeling and Simulations Code; Aerothermal Analysis; Thermal Protection System; Ablation; Non-linear Structure Analysis; Radiation Analysis


The Navy Topic above is an "unofficial" copy from the overall DoD 22.1 SBIR BAA. Please see the official DoD Topic website at for any updates.

The DoD issued its 22.1 SBIR BAA pre-release on December 1, 2021, which opens to receive proposals on January 12, 2022, and closes February 10, 2022 (12:00pm est).

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