Toward accurate simulation and analysis of strong acoustic wave phenomena-A review from the experience of our study on rocket problems

Kozo Fujii, Taku Nonomura, Seiji Tsutsumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This paper gives an overview of the numerical simulations for the analysis of strong nonlinear acoustic waves during rocket development, with the emphasis on recent ones carried out using large-scale supercomputers. After the discussion on the difficulties encountered in such simulations, a computational study of blast wave propagation conducted for estimating the safety distance of a rocket is presented. The study was conducted about 20 years ago and the result showed the advantages of the moving grid method as well as the importance of grid resolution studies. A recent study on rocket plume acoustics is then presented. The result shows that the generation and propagation of Mach waves from the plume shear layers are key features to be captured. Direct simulations of such flows have now become feasible owing to the developments in computers and numerical schemes. Then, problems that still remain unsolved are discussed. Our study so far has been limited to simulations using structured grids of high spatial resolution although direct simulations of strongly nonlinear acoustic waves are becoming feasible. More studies have to be carried out for developing highly accurate schemes for unstructured grid systems for the applications to flow configurations over complex geometries. With such improvements, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) would become a still better effective tool for the analysis and estimation of nonlinear acoustic phenomena, especially in aerospace applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1412-1432
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids
Issue number10-12
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Compressible flows
  • Nonlinear acoustics
  • Overset zonal method
  • Rocket
  • Shock wave
  • Viscous flows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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